Myriam Thyes [Public domain]
In an increasing globe trend, we note with interest the following statements made by the National Bank of Poland (NBP). Between 2005 and 2019, the NBP’s gold holdings increased by 125.7 tonnes to 228.6 tonnes and they also confirmed that nearly 50% of Polish gold will be repatriated to their country.
However what is even more telling is that, 95 tons of this increase can be attributed only to the month of June this year. With reference to the increase in their strategic reserves of gold and actions to repatriate a significant portion of Polish gold, the NBP stated that it was their constitutional, statutory and patriotic commitment to not only enhance the economic strength of the Polish state, but also create reserves that will safeguard its financial security.
In returning gold to their country, Poland is following the recent trend set by other European countries. In August 2017, the Bundesbank completed the repatriation of German gold, moving 374 tonnes of bullion from Paris and 300 tons from New York. In 2014, the Netherlands, repatriated 122.5 tons of gold from the US. The Bank of Austria and Hungary are now also in the process of doing so.
As a result of recent purchases the NBP, has according to official records, moved from a global position of 34 to 22 in gold holdings and from 15 to 11 in terms of Europe. The NBP reported that their gold, as a component of their official reserve assets, met international purity standards and London Good Delivery standards.
NBP gold in the Bank of England is held in an allocated account whereby each bar is assigned to a NBP account which is uniquely identifiable, has a unique serial number and a refiner’s mark. The highest quality of NBP gold and its standards of storage were further confirmed during the recent inspection carried out by NBP’s staff in Bank of England in June.
Given the NBP stressed that gold is the “most reserve” of reserve assets as it diversifies geopolitical risks and constitutes a specific anchor of trust, especially in times of tensions and crises, speaks volumes. In terms of the Polish economy their relatively stable economy has allowed it to increase its forex reserves by $30bn in the last five years and this has been utilised to increase Polish gold reserves.
The purchase of this gold not only increased what the NBP sees as their nations strategic financial security buffer, but also to bring the NBP closer in percentage terms of gold participation in foreign exchange reserves to the central banks of the world, which stands at 10.5%. However this is some way off the average for European countries which stands at 20.5%. The case for gold has long been self-evident but this move by Poland suggests a degree of urgency to not only acquire gold but also by dumping dollars in the process.