Gold purchases by Russian banks fell by 4.5%, to 195.85 tons in 2018, which accounted for 69% of all produced gold, a source in the Finance Ministry reported on January 22.
“Besides, domestic banks signed sales contracts for gold for the same amount, 195.89 tons, in 2016. VTB, Gazprombank, Sberbank and Otkritie Financial Corporation (FC) Bank were still the leaders,” the source said. “This is a good business for banks. They give loans to the users of natural resources, who then pay with the gold they produce, which they mostly sell to the central bank.”
The central bank bought 274 tons of gold to replenish reserves in 2018, and its reserves grew to 2,112 tons.
VTB was ranked first with gold purchases of 61.28 tons, Gazprombank followed with 44.14 tons, Sberbank with 34.78 tons, Otkritie FC Bank with 20.86 tons and Asian-Pacific Bank with 8.02 tons. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)