China Business News writes Central Banks Join Rush to Gold:
Central banks are ramping up their gold buying as they seek to diversify their reserves away from the dollar and other beleaguered currencies.
South Korea became the latest government to disclose a big bullion purchase, saying Tuesday that it recently bought 25 metric tons – more than doubling its holdings to 39 metric tons. Mexico, Russia and Thailand have also been major buyers in 2011.
This year, governments have almost tripled their net gold purchases, increasing their holdings by 203.5 metric tons this year, up from a 76-metric ton rise last year, according to the World Gold Council, an industry group backed by miners.
The demand marks a major shift in central banks’ thinking about gold. Increasingly, they see bullion as protection against risks posed by declining paper currencies and global economic upheaval, and their vast resources and conservative bent make them a powerful force in the gold market.
While gold is an asset that does not generate income, that shortcoming is less glaring among historically low interest rates.
Before 2010, governments had on balance been shedding their bullion for two decades, during which gold was seen by some as a relic. According to data from GFMS Ltd., a metals consultancy, 1988 was the last year that official holdings increased.
“We definitely have seen a sea change” in central bank attitudes toward gold, said David Greely, chief commodities strategist at Goldman Sachs Group. Central bank buying provides “longer-term support for gold prices,” he said.
I have said it before and I will say it again.
In a world of debt laden governments, great depressions left and right, and the monetary disfigurement called fiat currencies, gold provides a safe haven for all those who get it.
This will all the more be the case as global bond ratings are finally being cut.
As these lines are written gold has just hit $1,711.30.