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Kazakhstan central bank buys 3.9 tonnes of gold in January, the first increase in three months - WGC

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - After being the largest gold seller in 2022, the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) started the year by increasing its allocation to the precious metal.

Tuesday, Krishan Gopaul, senior European, Middle East, and Asian markets analyst at the World Gold Council, said that according to data from the International Monetary Fund, Kzakhstan’s central bank bought 3.9 tonnes of gold last month.

He noted that this is "the first increase to its gold reserves since October. Official gold reserves now stand at 355.6 tonnes."

In a note published last week, Gopaul noted that Kazakhstan reduced its official gold reserves by 51 tonnes last year; more than half of that gold, 29 tonnes, was sold in December. 

Along with Kazakhstan, Gopaul also said that the Central Bank of Uzbekistan was a net gold seller last year, reducing its gold reserves by roughly 1 tonne. CBU continued that trend into the new year, selling 12 tonnes of gold last month, according to data from the IMF.

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"It is not uncommon for central banks who purchase gold from domestic sources – as both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan do – also to be frequent sellers of gold," he said. 

Central bank gold demand has attracted new market focus after the WGC said that global foreign reserves increased by a record 1,136 tonnes last year.

Some analysts have noted that central bank demand is providing a solid floor in the precious metals market as they are expected to continue to buy gold through 2023.

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