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Ronan Manly

Ronan Manly

Ronan Manly is a precious metals analyst with BullionStar whose blogs
often cover current themes including what's going on in the
London gold market and the gold activities of central banks.

Swiss gold refinery Argor-Heraeus to be acquired by Private Equity investors
Bullion Banks pass the parcel on El Salvador's gold reserves

Bullion Banks pass the parcel on El Salvador's gold reserves

  • Date
  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

Eighteen months ago I wrote a short synopsis of a gold sales transaction by the central bank of El Salvador wherein it had sold 80% (about 5.5 tonnes) of its official gold reserves. The title of the post was “El Salvador’s gold reserves, the BIS, and the bullion banks“. If you thought, why the focus … Continue Reading arrow

Tracking the gold held in London: An update on ETF and BoE holdings

Tracking the gold held in London: An update on ETF and BoE holdings

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

Just over a year ago, gold researchers Nick Laird, Bron Suchecki, Koos Jansen and myself took a shot at estimating how much physical gold was accounted for in London within the gold-backed ETFs and under Bank of England custody. The results of that exercise are highlighted in September 2015 articles “How many Good Delivery gold bars are in … Continue Reading arrow

From Bank of England to LBMA - The 'Independent' Chair of the LBMA Board
Blood Brothers: The Bank of England and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)
From Gold Trains to Gold Loans – Banca d’Italia’s Mammoth Gold Reserves

From Gold Trains to Gold Loans – Banca d’Italia’s Mammoth Gold Reserves

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

Italy’s gold has had an eventful history. Robbed by the Nazis and taken to Berlin. Loaded on to gold trains and sent to Switzerland. Flown from London to Milan and Rome. Used as super-sized collateral for gold backed loans from West Germany while sitting quietly in a vault in New York. Leveraged as a springboard … Continue Reading arrow

Guest Post:
Chinese Gold Bar Photos – Lost in Translation

Chinese Gold Bar Photos – Lost in Translation

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 11 Comments

China is now in pole position as regards annual global gold mining output. Much if not all of Chinese domestic gold mining output is refined into standard gold by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) approved refiners and then sold through the SGE. A lot of recycled gold in China also flows through the same refineries. As of … Continue Reading arrow

IMF Gold Sales - Where 'Transparency' means 'Secrecy'

IMF Gold Sales - Where 'Transparency' means 'Secrecy'

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

Welcome to the twilight zone of IMF gold sales, where transparency really means secrecy, where on-market is off-market, and where IMF gold sales documents remain indefinitely “classified" and out of public view due to the “sensitivity of the subject matter". Off and On Market Between October 2009 and December 2010, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims to … Continue Reading arrow

Is there any gold bullion stored at the US Mint in Denver?

Is there any gold bullion stored at the US Mint in Denver?

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

Anyone with even a passing interest in US official gold reserves will probably recall that the US Treasury claims to hold its gold (8,133.5 tonnes) over four locations in continental United States, namely at three US Mint facilities in Fort Knox (Kentucky), West Point (upstate New York), Denver (Colorado), and at the New York Fed … Continue Reading arrow

The Charade Continues – London Gold and Silver Markets set for even more paper trading
GLD Sponsor dodges disclosure details of Bank of England sub-custodian in latest SEC filing
Austrian Mint sells 41 tonnes of gold coins and gold bars in 2015

Austrian Mint sells 41 tonnes of gold coins and gold bars in 2015

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

Earlier this year, the director of marketing and sales at the Austrian Mint confirmed to Bloomberg in an interview that the Mint’s combined gold bar and gold coin sales in 2015 had totalled 1.32 million troy ounces, a 45% increase on 2014, while the Mint’s silver sales in 2015 had reached 7.3 million ounces, a … Continue Reading arrow

Execs flee GLD – The revolving door at the SPDR Gold Trust Sponsor

Execs flee GLD – The revolving door at the SPDR Gold Trust Sponsor

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

A remarkable but little noticed development has occurred behind the scenes of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) over the last 3 years. This development concerns the very high level of executive staff turnover at World Gold Trust Services, the New York based ‘Sponsor’ of the mammoth gold GLD gold-backed Exchange Traded Fund that is listed … Continue Reading arrow

SPDR Gold Trust gold bars being held at the Bank of England

SPDR Gold Trust gold bars being held at the Bank of England

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 12 Comments

One of the most notable developments accompanying the gold price rally of 2016 has been the very large additions to the gold bar holdings of the major physically backed gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). This is especially true of the SPDR Gold Trust (ticker GLD). The gold bar holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust peaked at 1353 … Continue Reading arrow

Central Bank & Governments and their gold coin holdings

Central Bank & Governments and their gold coin holdings

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

Within the world of central bank and government gold reserves, there is often an assumption that these gold holdings consist entirely of gold bullion bars. While this is true in some cases, it is not the fully story because many central banks and governments, such as the US, France, Italy, Switzerland, the UK and Venezuela, … Continue Reading arrow

Apples and Oranges: An update on LBMA Refinery Statistics and GFMS
Spotlight on LPMCL: London Precious Metals Clearing Limited

Spotlight on LPMCL: London Precious Metals Clearing Limited

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

Within the last 2 months, there have been a series of developments in the London Gold Market, each of which has involved Chinese-controlled banking group ICBC Standard Bank Plc. On 4 April, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) announced that ICBC Standard Bank had been reclassified as a LBMA Market Making member for the OTC spot … Continue Reading arrow

LPPM – The London Platinum and Palladium Market

LPPM – The London Platinum and Palladium Market

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

The platinum and palladium markets arguably receive more focus during the third week of May than at any other time of the year. This is due to a series of events hosted in London known as London Platinum Week. London Platinum Week, which also covers other platinum group metals such as palladium, is coordinated by … Continue Reading arrow

Lars Schall Matterhorn Interview with Ronan Manly, April 2016
Shanghai Gold Benchmark Price - New Kid on the Block

Shanghai Gold Benchmark Price - New Kid on the Block

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 4 Comments

Exactly 19 months to the day after the International Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) held its first full trading session on 19 September 2014, the Shanghai Gold Exchange launched the Shanghai Gold Benchmark Price auction on 19 April 2016. In China, the number 19 is very auspicious since it consists of lucky number … Continue Reading arrow

HSBC’s London Gold Vault: Is this Gold’s Secret Hiding Place?

HSBC’s London Gold Vault: Is this Gold’s Secret Hiding Place?

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

HSBC’s main gold vault in London regularly comes under the media spotlight for a number of reasons. These reasons include: a) the HSBC London vault stores a very large amount of gold on behalf of gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds, primarily the well-known SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) b) along with the Bank of England vaults and … Continue Reading arrow

Deutsche Bank agrees to settle with Plaintiffs in London Silver Fixing litigation

Deutsche Bank agrees to settle with Plaintiffs in London Silver Fixing litigation

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

In a surprising development, a group of plaintiffs in an antitrust litigation case against Deutsche Bank, HSBC Bank plc, the Bank of Nova Scotia, and UBS AG, have just announced that Deutsche Bank is in the process of negotiating the formal terms of a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs. Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Scotia are the … Continue Reading arrow

The Gold Vaults of Hong Hong: Brinks, Loomis, Malca Amit and G4S

The Gold Vaults of Hong Hong: Brinks, Loomis, Malca Amit and G4S

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

The article “From Good Delivery bars to Kilobars – The Swiss Refineries, the GFMS data, and the LBMA" examined the mountain of evidence concerning the known Swiss conversion of Good Delivery bars into kilobars for export to gold markets in the East. As a further step in this process, it’s worth taking a look at the … Continue Reading arrow

SGX Kilobar Gold contract vs Trading with BullionStar
Venezuela exported 12.5 tonnes of gold to Switzerland on 8 March 2016, via Paris
The LBMA Silver Price – Broken Promises on Wider Participation and Central Clearing

The LBMA Silver Price – Broken Promises on Wider Participation and Central Clearing

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 10 Comments

On 28 January 2016, the midday LBMA Silver Price auction took 29 rounds to establish a final price of US$13.58 which was manipulated down by a whopping 6% below where silver spot and futures prices were trading at that time. This auction fiasco and price manipulation has caused deep concern among silver benchmark price users … Continue Reading arrow

The Gold Vaults of London: Malca-Amit

The Gold Vaults of London: Malca-Amit

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

Following on from the recent blog post “G4S London Gold Vault 2.0 – ICBC Standard Bank in, Deutsche Bank out“, which discusses the G4S precious metals vault located on Abbey Road in the Park Royal area of London, its instructive to also look at where the other London Gold Market vaults are located. According to … Continue Reading arrow

Update on Bundesbank Gold Repatriation 2015

Update on Bundesbank Gold Repatriation 2015

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 5 Comments

Deutsche Bundesbank has just released a progress report on its gold bar repatriation programme for 2015 – “Frankfurt becomes Bundesbank’s largest gold storage location“. During the calendar year to December 2015, the Bundesbank claims to have transported 210 tonnes of gold back to Frankfurt, moving circa 110 tonnes from Paris to Frankfurt, and just under … Continue Reading arrow

G4S London Gold Vault 2.0 – ICBC Standard Bank in, Deutsche Bank out

G4S London Gold Vault 2.0 – ICBC Standard Bank in, Deutsche Bank out

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

On 8 January 2016, Reuters broke the news that ICBC Standard Bank has purchased the lease on Deutsche Bank’s gold vault in London, and that ICBC Standard intends to become a member of the clearing syndicate, London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL): “ICBC Standard Bank is buying the lease on Deutsche Bank’s London gold and … Continue Reading arrow

From Good Delivery bars to Kilobars – The Swiss Refineries, the GFMS data, and the LBMA
Venezuela says adiós to her gold reserves

Venezuela says adiós to her gold reserves

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 1 Comments

Five months ago in my article “Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 2: From Repatriation to Reactivation“, I concluded that: “given the deteriorating state of Venezuela’s international finances and international reserves at the present time, it may be sooner rather than later before Venezuelan gold could be on the move again out of the country. One thing … Continue Reading arrow

Central Banks’ secrecy and silence on gold storage arrangements

Central Banks’ secrecy and silence on gold storage arrangements

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 4 Comments

Whereas some central banks have become more forthcoming on where they claim their official gold reserves are stored (see my recent blog post ‘Central bank gold at the Bank of England‘), many of the world’s central banks remain secretive in this regard, with some central bank staff saying that they are not allowed to provide … Continue Reading arrow

Central bank gold at the Bank of England

Central bank gold at the Bank of England

  • Date
  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 14 Comments

In a recent article, “How many Good Delivery gold bars are in all the London Vaults?….including the Bank of England vaults“, I considered how much gold is actually in the London Gold Market, and highlighted how the amount of gold stored in the London wholesale market has fallen noticeably in recent years. That article highlighted … Continue Reading arrow

Six months on ICE – The LBMA Gold Price

Six months on ICE – The LBMA Gold Price

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

It’s now been 6 months since the LBMA Gold Price auction, the much touted replacement to the London Gold Fixings, was launched on an ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) platform on Friday 20 March 2015. For anyone not au fait with the gold price auction, the LBMA Gold Price is a twice daily auction that produces … Continue Reading arrow

How many Good Delivery gold bars are in all the London Vaults?….including the Bank of England vaults
Moving the goalposts….The LBMA’s shifting stance on gold refinery production statistics
The Bank of England’s revealing views on Gold in 1988

The Bank of England’s revealing views on Gold in 1988

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

Below is an interesting 1988 discussion paper on gold, written by Bank of England staff. The original paper can be found in pdf here. The United Kingdom’s gold reserves belong to HM Treasury (HMT) and are held in the Exchange Equalisation Account (EEA), but managed by the Bank of England on behalf of HMT. The discussion paper … Continue Reading arrow

Swiss Gold Refineries and the sale of Valcambi

Swiss Gold Refineries and the sale of Valcambi

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 6 Comments

The normally low-key Swiss gold refining market has been thrown into the spotlight with the announcement that private company Valcambi, the world’s largest gold refinery, is being acquired by Indian group Rajesh Exports Ltd (REL), the world’s largest gold jewellery manufacturer. This acquisition is worth analysing for a number of reasons, namely will the Valcambi-Rajesh... Continue Reading arrow

The pre-2015 London Gold Fixings – More technologically advanced than reported
The funding model of the World Gold Council: GLD Fees and Gold Miner Dues

The funding model of the World Gold Council: GLD Fees and Gold Miner Dues

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

In a little noticed development at the end of March 2015, World Gold Council (WGC) member company Newcrest Mining of Australia ceased to be a member of the WGC, thereby reducing the Council’s membership from 19 to 18 gold mining companies. Newcrest Mining is one of the world’s largest gold mining companies and Australia’s largest … Continue Reading arrow

US National Archives web site releases diplomatic cables from 1978
Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 2: From Repatriation to Reactivation

Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 2: From Repatriation to Reactivation

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1, titled “Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 1: El Oro, El BCV, y Los Bancos de Lingotes“, provided a historical overview of Venezuela’s gold and looked at where the gold, and the claims on gold, were located just prior to repatriation in 2011, especially the gold … Continue Reading arrow

Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 1: El Oro, El BCV, y Los Bancos de Lingotes

Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 1: El Oro, El BCV, y Los Bancos de Lingotes

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

Venezuela’s gold reserves have rarely stayed out of the financial news headlines over the last four years. From initial gold repatriation announcements in August 2011, through to gold shipments from Europe to Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, in late 2011 and early 2012, as well as the more recent negotiations on using gold in swaps and for … Continue Reading arrow

El Salvador’s gold reserves, the BIS, and the bullion banks

El Salvador’s gold reserves, the BIS, and the bullion banks

  • Date
  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 4 Comments

According to a Reuters report from 24 April, the central bank of El Salvador, Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador (BCR), sold approximately 80% of its gold reserves during March 2015. This sale comprised 5.412 tons of gold and raised $206 million for the Bank. Reuters initiated its story based on updates to the … Continue Reading arrow

The IMF’s Gold Depositories – Part 3, Gold Swaps and the Quality of the IMF Gold

The IMF’s Gold Depositories – Part 3, Gold Swaps and the Quality of the IMF Gold

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is authorized to use its gold holdings to engage in gold location swaps and has done so frequently in the past. This has involved gold location swaps with the entities who maintain the gold vaults where the IMF stores its gold, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, … Continue Reading arrow

London Gold Fixing website www.goldfixing.com taken offline
Chinese Banks as direct participants in the new LBMA Gold and Silver Price auctions? Not so fast!

Chinese Banks as direct participants in the new LBMA Gold and Silver Price auctions? Not so fast!

  • Date
  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 4 Comments

There is a growing assumption in the financial media that a number of Chinese banks will be joining the new LBMA Gold Price auction as direct participants when the auction launches in London on Friday 20th March. This assumption is based on various sources, but primarily on a number of general comments made by the … Continue Reading arrow

The Bank of England and the London Gold Fixings in the 1980s

The Bank of England and the London Gold Fixings in the 1980s

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 0 Comments

With the current structure of the London gold price fixings disappearing in the very near future, there is an unusual story that I’d like to share about the gold fixings. It concerns the Bank of England’s ‘gold activities’ in the daily London Gold Fixings during the 1980s, and my attempts to get the Bank to explain … Continue Reading arrow

Spotlight on Greece’s Gold Reserves and Grexit

Spotlight on Greece’s Gold Reserves and Grexit

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  • author Ronan Manly
  • Comments 2 Comments

With the Greek Government and the Troika back in the news right now, it’s a good time to take a look at Greece’s official gold reserves and examine how much gold Greece claims to hold, where this gold might be located, and explore the impact that the European bailouts or a Greek Euro exit might have … Continue Reading arrow

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