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Netherlands increases gold reserves for first time since 1998: IMF

Netherlands increases gold reserves for first time since 1998: IMF

AMSTERDAM: The Netherlands added to its gold reserves for the first time since 1998 as the ninth-biggest holder boosted assets to the highest in seven years, while Russia bought for a ninth month, International Monetary Fund data show.

Bullion reserves in the Netherlands climbed to 20 million ounces or 622 metric tons in December, the highest since 2007, after being unchanged at 19.7 million ounces from December 2008 through November, the IMF’s website showed. Russia, with the fifth-biggest hoard, held 38.8 million ounces last month, the most in at least two decades, the data show.

Central banks globally are adding gold to reserves after reducing holdings for about two decades from the late 1980s as they seek to diversify assets, according to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Worldwide purchases would probably be 400 tons to 500 tons in 2014, the World Gold Council said in November. Gold rose for the first time in four months in December as signs of slowing economic growth spurred haven demand.