Investments in precious metals by Russian banks increased in August, reaching almost $7.4 billion (568 billion rubles), data released by the country’s central bank (CBR) showed.
In terms of gold, reserves have amounted to a record 121 tons, which is 10.9 percent higher than the maximum reached in October 2019.
According to Maxim Osadchiy, an analyst at BKF Bank, last month, Russian banks increased their bullion reserves by 23.3 tons. He told RBC Daily that this was the most noticeable increase on the balance sheets of Russian banks for the entire period of statistics disclosure.
So far, only Sberbank has reported increasing its gold reserves – by 16.9 percent (or 3.1 tons) in August, Osadchiy said. He added that Sberbank, VTB, Otkritie, Gazprombank, and Sovcombank are now the top-five banks in terms of investments in gold.
CBR statistics showed that Russian banks increased investments in precious metals from May, after six months of sales. Experts explained that one factor was the rise in gold prices amid fears of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.