March 03, 2011 13:54
Russian Gokhran buys 3.4 tonnes, banks - 149 tonnes gold in 2010
MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - Russia's State Precious Metals and Gemstones Repository (Gokhran) bought 3.4 tonnes of gold from miners in 2010, the repository told Interfax.
The Gokhran previously planned to buy 2.5 tonnes of gold last year.
The repository plans to increase gold purchases again this year, but is has not yet started to issue advance payments to miners - the Gokhran pays 30% of the cost of gold up front.
The Gokhran bought 5 tonnes of gold for advance payment from miners in 2009, but originally planned to buy 10 tonnes that year.
The Gokhran said Russian banks bought 148.8 tonnes of gold in 2010. Sberbank (RTS: SBER) bought just under 34 tonnes, Nomos-Bank (RTS: NMOS) - 28 tonnes and Gazprombank - 20.6 tonnes.
The Gokhran said mining companies were keener to sell gold to banks as the latter were offering more in the way of financing - up to 50% of the cost of the metal - and started issuing advances in the autumn, while the Gokhran cannot start to issue advances until the start of a year for technical reasons.
The Gokhran says the Central Bank did not buy gold in 2010. Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Georgy Luntovsky said in January that the bank planned to buy over 100 tonnes of gold for the international reserves each year.
The Gold Producers' Union has said production of the metal fell 1.4% in 2010 to 202.3 tonnes, including 175.2 tonnes of mined gold, down 1.7%.
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