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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bank of Korea Buys 16 Tons of Gold in July to Diversify

South Korea's central bank said on Thursday it bought 16 tons of gold in July, its second gold purchase in less than a year, boosting its total gold holdings to 70.4 tons as it aims to diversify its foreign reserves.

The total value of the purchase, made on multiple occasions during July, was $810 million, slightly less than $850 million it spent buying 15 tons of gold in November last year, the Bank of Korea in a statement.

A central bank official told reporters the purchases were made sporadically throughout the month in London, but declined to provide the exact net purchase price per ounce it paid for the bullion, typical of most central banks.

Gold accounted for 0.9 percent of South Korea's total foreign reserves in value at the end of July, up from 0.7 percent a month earlier, the central bank said, adding the total book value of its gold holdings was at $3.0 billion.

The South Korean central bank said it now ranked 40th in the world in gold holdings at the end of July, up from 43rd in June.

It announced the gold purchases when it made a scheduled release of the country's latest foreign exchange reserves, which edged up to $314.35 billion at the end of July from $312.38 billion at the end of June.

South Korea, the fourth largest economy in Asia, had the seventh largest foreign exchange reserves in the world as of the end of June, of which securities including government bonds made up 91.1 percent, it added.


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