The central bank of Kazakhstan announced it will further build up its official gold holdings by as much as 20 per cent in 2012 from the previous year's 15 per cent, as well as reduce its holdings of the euro currency to 25 per cent from the previous 30 per cent.
Bisengaly Tadzhiyakov, deputy chairman of the country's central bank, citing figures prepared for presentation before Parliament, told reporters on Wednesday the central bank will be buying a total of 24.5 metric tonnes of gold this year.
"We will buy from Kazzinc corporation 20 metric tonnes in 2012, and a further 4.5 metric tonnes from Kazakhmys," he said. All the gold output in Kazakhstan is bought by its own central bank.
Data from the International Monetary Fund showed that as of April 2011, Kazakhstan's gold holdings increased by 16.2 metric tonnes, or by a total of 98.2 metric tonnes, making it the world's 35th largest gold owner.
As of end May, Kazakhstan's net gold and foreign currency reserves reached $33.8 billion, jumping by 17 per cent over the previous year.
"Earlier we had between 7 per cent and 9 per cent (of gold) in the structure of our reserves. Today it's already 14 or even almost 15 percent," Tadzhiyakov said.
Central banks around the world have been forecast to procure as much as 400 metric tons of the safe haven yellow metal gold this year, according to the London-based World Gold Council (WGC). Last year, central banks hoarded 456.4 metric tonnes, the most in almost five decades, WGC said.
At present, 70 per cent of reserves of most global central bank is made up of gold, the WGC noted.
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