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Does Bank Of England Hold Euro 235 Million Of Irish Gold Reserves?

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2013 Jan 14, 2013 - 09:43 AM GMT

By: GoldCore

Commodities

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,667.75, EUR 1,246.82 and GBP 1,034.39 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,669.50, EUR 1,258.29 and GBP 1,036.25 per ounce.

Silver is trading at $30.88/oz, €23.24/oz and £19.31/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,665.00/oz, palladium at $705.00/oz and rhodium at $1,150/oz.


Cross Currency Table – (Bloomberg)

Gold fell $9.70 or 0.58% in New York on Friday and closed at $1,663.20/oz. Silver slipped to as low as $30.174 before it also rebounded, but it still finished with a loss of 0.97% Friday.

For the week, gold was up 0.42% while silver was up nearly 1%. The question is whether this brings an end to the recent period of weakness after 5 weeks of consecutive losses. Demand from Asia and China remains robust and should support and lead to a recovery in prices.

XAU/EUR Exchange Rate, 2011-2013 – (Bloomberg)

Spot gold traded nearly flat on Monday in Asia and has edged higher as investors nervously await a string of economic data this week to examine if the grand money printing recovery plan is working for the world's top economies.

The week’s U.S. economic highlights include Retail Sales, PPI, Empire Manufacturing, and Business Inventories on Tuesday, CPI, Net Long Term TIC Flows, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization, the NAHB Housing Market Index, and the fed’s Beige Book on Wednesday, Initial Jobless Claims, Housing Starts, Building Permits, and the Philadelphia Fed on Thursday, and Michigan Sentiment on Friday.

XAU/EUR Exchange Rate, 2008-2013 – (Bloomberg)

Today, at 2100 U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks and answers audience and online questions at the University of Michigan regarding monetary policy, recovery from the global financial crisis and the many long term challenges facing the American economy.

A poll of London Bullion Market Association members said gold prices will rise between 5.1% and 14% this year, continuing the yellow metal’s bull run into the 13th year.

The euro rose to its highest against the dollar since April 2012, after ECB head Mario Draghi set a bullish tone by not giving any indication the bank would ease monetary policy. Although with ultra loose monetary policies set to continue gold looks set to continue eking out gains in the “single currency”.

As central banks globally continue to diversify into gold, the question of who owns and controls national gold reserves is beginning to get increasing scrutiny.

Central banks internationally are being petitioned to return their nation’s gold to their own countries rather than have them stored offshore in foreign jurisdictions.

People in many nations, including Germany and Switzerland, are petitioning their governments to repatriate their gold from the U.S. Federal Reserve and Bank of England. The demands come as peoples internationally slowly realise the importance of gold in preserving wealth and ensuring financial freedom.

Gold’s historic, symbolic, financial and monetary value is slowly being appreciated anew.

The Central Bank of Ireland continues to be queried about the status of the Irish gold reserves. It has been reluctant to release information and said that it is “not obliged” to release information due to certain “rules and regulations”.

Ireland International Reserves Monetary Gold - Central Bank of Ireland

Ireland's finance minister, Michael Noonan, has also been asked about the country's gold vaulted at the Bank of England, such as whether the gold is held in allocated form with a bar list available and whether the gold is leased out into international markets. Answers are as of yet not forthcoming.

The Sunday Independent, Ireland’s best selling Sunday broadsheet covered the story yesterday in an article (see news) published yesterday which is being widely shared on the internet and commented upon:

Bankrupt Ireland owns six tonnes of gold, the bulk of which is held at the Bank of England, it has been revealed.

The Central Bank of Ireland said the value of its gold holdings was €235m last time it checked. This represents just over 1 per cent of its total investments.

A spokeswoman said the Central Bank was a party to the Washington Agreement on Gold, which recognised gold as an important element of global monetary reserves.

She said the Central Bank had not entered into any lease arrangements regarding any of its gold but would not provide specific details of its storage arrangements with the Bank of England.

Goldcore founder Mark O'Byrne said the Irish people had a right to know where Ireland's gold reserves were stored, how they were stored and whether they were loaned or leased out into the market.

He said the perception in Ireland that gold was in a bubble was absolute nonsense. Most people in Ireland don't even know what the price of gold is, he said.

The real debate we should be having is the risk posed by currency devaluation, said Mr O'Byrne, not just in Ireland with the euro but with sterling, the dollar and every other paper currency in the world.

He said a slew of people who had warned about the Irish property market were completely ignored and those warning about currency devaluation now were being ignored again.

Currency Ranked Returns in Euros – (Bloomberg)

While Ireland's gold reserves aren't much only six tonnes, the principle is important.

People in democracies have a right to know where their gold reserves are stored, how they are stored and whether they are loaned or leased out into the market.

Especially as gold reserves may help protect nation states from systemic and monetary crises and help maintain faith in increasingly debased paper and electronic currencies.

For the latest news and commentary on financial markets and gold please follow us on Twitter.

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This update can be found on the GoldCore blog here.

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Mark O'Byrne
Exective Director

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