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Singapore Adds Gold to Reserves for the First Time in Over 2 Decades

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Singapore expanded its gold reserves by about 20% earlier this year, joining a growing number of countries increasing their investment in the yellow metal.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) bought 26.3 tons of gold in May and June, according to its most recent International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity report. It was the first expansion of the country’s gold reserves since the year 2000.

“The change in gold holdings is a result of the continuous and ongoing efforts by MAS to ensure that the official foreign reserves (OFR) portfolio remains well-diversified and resilient through economic and market conditions,” a MAS spokesman said.

Singapore now holds about 154 tons of gold.

An FXStreet report noted that “heavy gold accumulation by central banks points to an ongoing shift away from the US Federal Reserve Note ‘dollar’ as the global reserve currency of choice and points to the ongoing shift in global economic dynamics.”

Net gold buying by central banks globally reached 393 tons at the end of Q3. Central banks have already bought more gold this year than they did in the entirety of 2020 (255 tons) with one quarter left to go. The World Gold Council says net gold purchases are “poised to reach a significant total in 2021.

After record years in 2018 and 2019, central bank gold-buying slowed in 2020. But even with the steep dropoff, it was the 11th straight year of net growth in central bank gold reserves. The lower rate of purchases in 2020 was expected given the strength of central bank buying both in 2018 and 2019. The economic chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic has also impacted the market.

A World Gold Council survey found that there is deteriorating faith in the US dollar and a continuing trend toward de-dollarization.

Respondents continue to foresee long-term structural changes in the international monetary system, continuing a trend indicated in last year’s survey. Views toward the US dollar trended downward, with half of respondents saying the greenback will fall below its current proportion. Central banks continue to think that the Chinese renminbi’s proportion will increase, with 88% saying that it will grow beyond current levels.”

Poland recently announced plans to add an additional 100 tons of gold to its reserves. Bank of Poland President Adam Glapiński said holding gold is a matter of financial security and stability.

Gold will retain its value even when someone cuts off the power to the global financial system, destroying traditional assets based on electronic accounting records. Of course, we do not assume that this will happen. But as the saying goes – forewarned is always insured. And the central bank is required to be prepared for even the most unfavorable circumstances. That is why we see a special place for gold in our foreign exchange management process.”

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