The Russian central bank purchased 356,000 ounces of gold in February to become the largest buyer of the yellow metal. Russia’s foreign reserves now stand at $386.9bn.

The Russian central bank have added $19bn to their foreign reserves since the end of 2015, when the country’s central bank announced they plan to increase the countries gold hoard by a further $500 billion in the next five years. China added 320,000 ounces in February as the country continues to diversify its foreign reserves away from the U.S dollar.

In contrast, Canada who have a long history of mining gold, have now sold all their remaining gold in favour of holding national currencies.

According to the latest World Gold Council data Russia now has the 7th latest sovereign gold hoard, just behind China.