Ronan Manly
BullionStar Blogs

Ronan Manly

Swiss Gold Refineries and the sale of Valcambi

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

The pre-2015 London Gold Fixings – More technologically advanced than reported

The financial media has recently pitched the transition of the London daily gold fixings to an ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) platform as a quantum leap from an antiquated Victorian-era process to a futuristic 21st century electronic auction. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently said that: "Four of the banks...had participated in the conference call used... Continue Reading

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

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 gold miner. This exit by Newcrest Mining... Continue Reading

US National Archives web site releases diplomatic cables from 1978

The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has just released a new batch of diplomatic cables from the year 1978, which can be searched and browsed via the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) website at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/. These batches of cables are variously known as "State Department Cables", "Diplomatic Records" or "Central Foreign Policy... Continue Reading

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

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 held abroad. Part 1 was necessary so as to set the scene for... Continue Reading

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

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 loan collateral, the Venezuelan gold... Continue Reading

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

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 International Monetary Fund’s gold reserve data, which... Continue Reading

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

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, the Bank of England and the Banque de France, and also other... Continue Reading

London Gold Fixing website www.goldfixing.com taken offline, chairperson in the shadows

(Update 23/03/2015: The www.goldfixing.com website was permanently switched off in the early morning of Monday 23rd March 2015) The last ever 'Gold Fixing' will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 19th March 2015 at 3.00pm. Following the last fixing, the www.goldfixing.com website of the London Gold Market Fixing Limited will be immediately and permanently taken... Continue Reading

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

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 London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) in February, and also... Continue Reading

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

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 what these 'gold activities' consisted of. These 'gold... Continue Reading

Spotlight on Greece’s Gold Reserves and Grexit

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 on the Greek gold holdings. The 2012 Annual report of the Bank of Greece,... Continue Reading

The IMF’s Gold Depositories – Part 2, Nagpur and Shanghai, the Indian and Chinese connections

Part 1 of the IMF's Gold Depositories series explained the legal background as to why the IMF originally made the decision to hold gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Bank of England, the Banque de France and the Reserve Bank of India. See Part 1 for details, but as a quick recap, although the current IMF Rule F-1 on the location of its gold depositories... Continue Reading

The Keys to the Gold Vaults at the New York Fed – Part 3: ‘Coin Bars’, ‘Melts’ and the Bundesbank

Part 1 of this series reviewed Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) publications that cover the Fed's gold storage vaults in Manhattan, and illustrated how the information in these publications has been watered down over time. Part 1 also showed that the number of foreign central bank customers storing gold with the FRBNY has fallen substantially since the late... Continue Reading
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