China, the world’s biggest bullion consumer, said that it increased its gold reserves by 1.1 percent last month in a drive for more transparency as it pushes for the yuan’s inclusion in the IMF’s currency basket.
Holdings rose to 53.93 million troy ounces from 53.32 million ounces a month earlier, according to data released yesterday by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).
On July 17, the country ended six years of mystery surrounding its hoard, revealing a 57 percent jump in assets since 2009 and overtaking Russia to become the country with the fifth-largest stash.
The nation is seeking to improve data quality, including the monthly release of reserve figures rather than quarterly. The IMF said earlier this month that more work was needed before deciding whether to grant the yuan reserve status. China devalued the currency this week and announced a shift to a more market-driven exchange rate mechanism.
“China’s central bank will continue to buy,” Commtrendz Risk Management Services Ltd director Gnanasekar Thiagarajan said by phone from Mumbai.
“The central bank is diversifying its reserves and some amount of bargain hunting has taken place. The PBOC is trying to make the [yuan] into an international currency,” he said.
Bullion remains a large part of many central banks’ reserves, decades after they stopped using it to back paper money. Stockpiles of the metal help China to diversify its foreign-exchange holdings as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to raise the international profile of its own currency.
The PBOC said on July 17 that it had boosted bullion assets to 53.32 million ounces, or about 1,658 tonnes, up from 1,054 tonnes in 2009, when it last updated the figures.
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