Ten years on
The global financial crisis erupted in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed, swiftly followed by the demise of major financial institutions around the world, particularly in the US and Europe. Bond and stock markets crashed, governments rode to the rescue and many investors turned to gold. Investor demand rose 64% to 1,091 tonnes (t) from 2007 to 2008 and increased again the following year. The gold price rose more than 30% during that period, averaging US$927/oz in 2009, compared with less than US$700/oz two years earlier.
Central banks bolster gold reserves
Central banks around the world have been increasing their gold holdings this year, with emerging market countries at the vanguard of this trend. The Russian Central Bank has been the most acquisitive, boosting its gold reserves by more than 35% since the start of 2017. The bank’s holdings are now worth over US$75 billion.
Indian gold policy under review
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is recommending sweeping changes to current gold policy. The government think-tank says that gold import and sales duties should be slashed, gold savings accounts should be introduced in banks and existing measures to monetise gold should be reviewed and updated. NITI Aayog also suggests that the government should establish a gold board and bullion exchanges across the country. The recommendations form part of a concerted attempt to formalise India’s gold market, the second largest in the world.
Australian gold production at 20-year high
Australian gold production totalled 310t in the most recent financial year, the highest level in two decades. The figure was 4% ahead of 2017 figures and only 8t short of the all-time record, achieved in 1998. Production ramped up in the final quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, up 9% quarter-on-quarter to 81t in the three months to June.