China opens Beijing to gold imports
Duncan Richardson, News Editor
22 Apr 2014, 10:39 a.m.
According to industry insiders, The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) has started to import gold directly into Beijing in an attempt to keep China’s gold imports confidential.
China’s gold imports figures via Hong Kong are accessible, whereas imports directly to the mainland are not. So any move to increase the amount imported via Beijing will make estimating China’s gold reserves even harder. Previously all gold imported into China was via Shenzhen, Shanghai or Hong Kong.
According to the World Gold Council, China has been aggressively increasing its gold reserves in an attempt to diversify away from U.S. Treasuries. Last year 1,160 tonnes of gold was imported via Hong Kong.
The PBOC last reported its official gold reserves in 2009 announcing it had increased its holdings from 600 tonnes to 1,054 tonnes. Many industry insiders now estimate that the PBOC currently hold between 3,000 and 5,000 tonnes.