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Germany Makes Significant Progress Repatriating Its Gold

By Neils Christensen of Kitco News
Tuesday January 20, 2015 12:55 PM

(Kitco News) - Germany continued to repatriate gold in 2014, moving a total of 120 tonnes from the Banque de France and New York Federal Reserve, the Deutsche Bundesbank said on Monday.

"Implementation of our new gold storage plan is proceeding smoothly. Operations are running very much according to schedule," said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the German central bank, in a press release.

Image courtesy of Deutsche Bundesbank

According to the statement, the central bank transferred 35 tonnes of gold to Frankfurt from Paris, and 85 tonnes of gold from New York.

The German central bank kept quiet about its repatriation plan in 2014, but the process proved to be much more efficient as more gold was transferred last year compared to 2013. According to media reports, in 2013, the first year of the repatriation process, Germany only managed to transfer a total of 37 tonnes - 5 tonnes of gold coming from New York and 32 tonnes of gold coming from Paris.

The Bundesbank surprised the gold market in 2013 when it first announced its repatriation plans; however, the latest headlines have largely been ignored by the marketplace.

George Gero, vice president and precious-metals strategist with RBC Capital Markets Global Futures, said that the initial announcement was a political issue, which has become much less important in the face of larger global problems.

Jeffrey Nichols, managing director for American Precious Metals Advisors and senior economic advisor for Rosland Capital, agreed the news doesn’t have much impact on the market and prices but it does have a long-term psychological impact.

“This repatriation process enhances gold’s reputation as a reliable store of value,” he said. “If you want to hold an asset like gold the best place to hold it is at home.”

In its original plans, the Bundesbank said that by 2020 it would repatriate all of its gold in Paris, which equaled about 374 tonnes, and about 8%, or 300 tonnes, of gold from New York. With more 517 tonnes still outstanding, the central bank will have transfer 103.4 tonnes over the next five years to meet its deadline.

As of January, according to data compiled by the World Gold Council, Germany maintains the second spot, behind the U.S., for the most gold reserves in the world, holding 3,384.2 tonnes of gold, which is 66.4% of its total foreign reserves.

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By Neils Christensen of Kitco News; nchristensen@kitco.com



Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.
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