Sunday, December 13, 2015

Austria Proudly Shows Off The 15 Tons Of Gold It Repatriated From London

"On May 28, the Austrian Central Bank surprised the world when it announced that it too would follow in the footsteps of Germany and the Netherlands, and repatriate half of its sovereign physical gold, currently held almost entirely at the Bank of England, to Austria while transferring a modest portion in Switzerland by the year 2020.
Back then, the central bank headed by Ewald Nowotny said it took the decision after recommendations made by the Austrian Court of Audit in February, which warned of a "heightened concentration risk" linked to storing the majority of its reserves in Britain. At the time, the bank had argued the policy was warranted because London was a major international centre for the gold trade."
This was the official statement the Austrian National Bank (OeNB) released in May:
In May 2015, the gold reserves held by the OeNB amounted to 280 tons, having remained unchanged since 2007. Austria’s gold reserves are fully owned by the OeNB, which maintains and manages them with utmost care. In line with the OeNB’s current gold storage policy, 17 % of its gold holdings are at present kept in Austria, 80 % in the United Kingdom and 3 % in Switzerland.

Recently, the Governing Board of the OeNB adopted the 2020 gold storage policy following a regular in-house gold strategy and storage policy review, while also considering the recommendations made by the Austrian Court of Audit. The cornerstones of this policy are as follows:
  • By the year 2020, 50% of Austria’s gold reserves are to be held in Austria (OeNB and Münze Österreich AG), 30% in London and 20% in Switzerland.
  • Starting from mid-2015, the new storage policy will be gradually implemented in keeping with security and logistical requirements.
  • A comprehensive review and, if need be, adaptation of the storage policy is scheduled for 2019.
  • The OeNB will regularly report on the progress in its upcoming annual reports.
What the central bank did not say, is that by repatriating its gold from the UK, it was implicitly confirming that trust is now very publicly fraying at the highest levels of the international monetary system, with first Germany, then the Netherlands, then Austria, and most recently China, all demonstrating they are moving and/or building up their domestic gold reserves, and withdrawing their gold held at either the NY Fed or the Bank of England, something hardly surprising for those who have read our article explaining What Happens When You Hand Over Your Gold To The Bank Of England For "Safekeeping".
Which is also why yesterday, with great fanfare, Austria proudly announced to the world that it has moved 15 tonnes of gold from London of its gold reserves as part of its aforementioned repatriation plan.
"By the end of November, the Austrian National Bank brought 15 tonnes of its gold back into its own vaults," the OeNB said in a statement. A spokesman for the central bank said it had begun repatriating the gold from London in October..."


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