Tag Archives: repatriate

More Confirmation Germany Continues To Repatriate Gold

In addition to a post I wrote earlier about the Bundesbank continuing to repatriate gold from the US and France, in contrast to a misleading article from Bloomberg suggesting the program was canceled, I present an email I just got in from Peter Boehringer, founder of Repatriate Our Gold in Germany:

Dear E-Mail partners: A quick info in English because I know there are many people
around the world waiting for gold repatriation news from Deutsche Bundesbank (BuBa) in 2014. I always said BuBa would continue their repatriations in Germany despite many
official and unofficial news outlets claiming the opposite.

We still have no quantitative news – but this came in 8am CET today (45 mins ago).
See here for original German language interview text of BuBa´s “gold exec” Mr Thiele.
*) My translation of the text below. Followed by my short comment.

“Bundesbank has delivered gold to Germany according to plan Also in 2014, Deutsche Bundesbank has brought gold from foreign storage sites to Frankfurt. ‘We are within our plan with our delivery of gold from the Fed and the Banque de France.’. BuBa-executive Carl-Ludwig Thiele told the German Press
Agency dpa in Frankfurt.”

Boehringer comment:

  • This is really all there is, all we have right now. I would personally call it “non-news” as usual in that Mr Thiele does not give out ANY new info which we did not have before. With the possible exception that Bundesbank now officially says what I said all along throughout the year: The gold repatriation is continuing – albeit not transparent and probably way too slow but with a rate larger than 0 tonnes in 2014…
  • We still do not know exact numbers.Thiele does not seem to have given out tonnages for 2014 (in the press release we only have 2013 numbers which had been known since Dec 2013).
  • Every number below 70-100 tonnes would be shamefully little – and therefore this is exactly the range I am expecting in the final announcement with numbers (due early 2015).

So it is business as usual with Bundesbank. Too slow, too little, not transparent: this
holds true both for its information policy on gold and for its repatriation efforts! The fight for repatriation and for receiving more info from BuBa will have to continue. And since BuBa is stalling and our institutions are not helping – we the owners of the gold will have to do the work on our own. To be continued (in 2015)… Happy Christmas to everybody!

*) 22.12.2014 08:00 Bundesbank bei Gold-Verlagerung im Plan Die Deutsche Bundesbank hat auch 2014 tonnenweise Gold aus ausländischen Lagerstätten nach Frankfurt gebracht. “Mit der Goldverlagerung von der Fed in New York und der Banque de France in Paris liegt die Bundesbank voll im Zeitplan”, sagte Bundesbank-Vorstand CarlLudwig Thiele der Deutschen Presse-Agentur in Frankfurt. Die Notenbank will bis 2020 mehr als die Hälfte ihrer zuletzt 3387 Tonnen in heimischen Tresoren lagern. Dafür sollen 674 Tonnen des Edelmetalls aus Paris und New York nach Frankfurt gebracht werden. Zum Start der Aktion holte die Bundesbank 2013 fünf Tonnen aus New York und 32 Tonnen aus Paris.

Why Austria Is Likely To Repatriate Its Gold From London

Yesterday, December 12, we learned the next European county in line – after Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Belgium – to openly talk about repatriating its gold reserves is Austria. This came to me as no surprise.

From derStandard.at we could read:

The National Bank Thinks About The Gold Concept

The gold reserves of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) and their deposits in the UK and in Switzerland are a recurring theme in political discussions. Especially the Freedom to demand the relocation to Austria, along the example of the Deutsche Bundesbank in mind, who want to move half their gold by 2020 to Germany.

In Austria, the Court of Auditors has adopted the gold concept in its recent OeNB examination. In its draft report it provides the OeNB diverse recommendations. One of the key points: Given the “risk of a high concentration at the Bank of England”, the examiner advise to “rapidly evaluate all possibilities of a better dispersion of the storage locations”. Not only the parties should be diversified, but also the “actual spread of storing among locations”.

Gold Relocation Possible

The central bank has not ruled out such a relocation. The existing gold storage concept would be reviewed, potentially it will bring parts of the stored gold in the UK to Austria, OeNB experts have stated. Any changes will be decided upon security and economic criteria, according to the OeNB.

A brief orientation on the current gold concept: Austria has 280 tonnes of official gold reserves, only a small part of (17 %) is kept in Vienna. 80 % of the reserves are located in London, the most trading partner in gold, 3% percent is stored in Switzerland.

Note, the above was translated by Google and me, although I don’t speak German, the language is quite similar to Dutch: I can’t guarantee the translation is 100 % accurate

The exact tonnage of Austria’s official gold reserves at each location was first disclosed in November 2012:

The Austrian central bank keeps most of its 280 metric tons of gold reserves in the United Kingdom, Vice Governor Wolfgang Duchatczek was quoted as saying in the finance committee of the country’s parliament today, according to Bloomberg.

Answering lawmakers’ questions, Duchatczek said 80%, or 224.4 metric tons of the metal was stored in the U.K., 17% or 48.7 metric tons in Austria and 3% in Switzerland, according to a summary of a closed-door committee meeting provided by the parliament.

The reserve has been unchanged since 2007, Duchatczek was quoted as saying. The central bank has earned 300 million euros ($385 million) over the last ten years by lending the gold, he said.

Then May this year we learned Austria was getting nervous about the gold they store at the Bank Of England (BOE), when they sent auditors to London to have a look. From Goldreporter.de, May 2014:

Austria is planning to send auditors to the Bank of England in order to verify the existence of Austria’s gold reserves stored in British vaults.

The Austrian accountability office will sent a delegation to London in order to check on Austria’s gold reserves stored in vaults at the Bank of England. This is reported by Austrian magazine Trend. The measure is seen as a consequence of growing public pressure. There is a rising disbelief among Austrians about the existence of the gold.

“I acknowledge the request. Any grocery store is obliged to do inventory once a year. It is the only way of getting rid of these unreasonable allegations”, Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the National Bank of Austria tells Trend.

Since May a lot has happened; Russia’s central bank increased its gold reserves significantly, China keeps importing huge quantities of gold, the Swiss population has expressed their concern on their gold reserves, The Netherlands has repatriated 122.5 tonnes from the New York Fed and Belgium openly stated it’s investigating to repatriate, which a central banker would never say if it wasn’t to act accordingly in my opinion. All this is happening in a global environment of QE. Would these developments make the Austrians, that were already a little jumpy on this topic, even more or less nervous?

There is another clue Austria has been long preparing to repatriate – no, it’s not because Menger and Mises were born there. While doing research for my post Eurosystem Increasing Allocated Official Gold ReservesI noticed the there was one country in specific that was allocating its reserves, from what I saw in data from the Bundesbank.

Eurosystem Total Official Gold Reserves (10,787 tonnes)

Eurosystem Official Gold Reserves Allocation, October 2014

As you can see in the chart above Austria has a fraction of its official gold reserves unallocated. In the next chart we can see the ratio between allocated versus unallocated gold developing from January 2013.

Austria official gold reserves allocated vs unallocated ratio

It looks like Austria is taking it step by step, just like The Netherlands did. First there was some discussion in politics about the official gold reserves and then actions are being taken behind the scenes, in the case of Austria they started to allocate their gold. The fact concrete actions already have been taken since July 2013, tells me there is a significant probability more will follow; such as repatriating gold from London.

Given the ‘risk of a high concentration at the Bank of England’, the examiner advise to ‘rapidly evaluate all possibilities of a better dispersion of the storage locations’… The central bank has not ruled out such a relocation. The existing gold storage concept would be reviewed, potentially it will bring parts of the stored gold in the UK to Austria, OeNB experts have stated.

Bear in mind The Netherlands not even talked about repatriating openly while preparing it. Who knows how many countries are preparing or discussing repatriating behind closed doors at this moment.