Russia added a further 688,000 ounces of gold to their official reserves in January making them the largest buyer of the yellow metal according to IMF data. Russia’s total reserves now stand at 46.2 million ounces.

China purchased 197.1 metric tons of gold in 2015, having only started to report new purchases last year. In 2015 Russia and China accounted for over 90% of central bank purchases last year.

According to a number of economists Vladimir Putin is buying gold to diversify Russian reserves away from U.S dollars and at the same time undermine the U.S. and Europe banking system.

The former Soviet state of Kazakhstan expanded its gold reserves in January for the 40th consecutive month.

Central Banks accelerated their gold purchases in the second half 2015 as diversification of foreign reserves became a priority for central banks.