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NEW YORK/SINGAPORE, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Ukraine slashed its gold
reserves by more than a third in October, data from the
International Monetary Fund showed, as the near-bankrupt country
reels from fighting a pro-Russian separatist movement in the
east.

The reserves data from IMF also showed Russia raised its gold
holdings for a seventh straight month in the same period – the
country’s longest such buying spree in more than a year.

Ukraine ended last month with 26 tonnes of gold, down by 14
tonnes from September, while Russia added another 18.9 tonnes,
taking its total to 1,168 tonnes – still the fifth biggest holding
by a central bank.

Ukraine, locked in a conflic俄罗斯专线 杜R QQ_14681797 Tel_18898724989 网站_http://ddl56.comt with separatists since early this
俄罗斯专线 杜R QQ_14681797 Tel_18898724989 网站_http://ddl56.comyear, is near bankruptcy, dependent on international loans, and
deeply in debt for natural gas to Russia, the former imperial
master it accuses of waging war on behalf of separatists on its
territory.

Its currency, the hryvnia, has lost 83 percent of its value
against the dollar this year and its foreign currency reserves
plunged to a nine-year low last month.

The crisis has also had an impact on Russia’s gold holdings with
the central bank being forced to step up buying from domestic
producers hurt by Western sanctions, and to boost liquidity in its
foreign reserves, Reuters reported this month.

It was not known if Ukraine has continued to sell gold reserves
in November as well.

More selling by Ukraine, or any other central bank, could hurt
gold prices, which earlier this month sank to 4-1/2-year lows
following a sell-off that began in late October. Gold is extremely
sensitive to buying and selling by central banks – the biggest
holders of bullion.

In 2013, gold tumbled $200 an ounce in two days on fears that
Cyprus – with less than 15 tonnes of gold – could sell bullion to
shore up its finances. That drop in April sparked a big sell-off
with gold losing 28 percent last year.

IMF data on Thursday also showed Turkey cut its holdings by 2.7
tonnes to 521 tonnes and Azerbaijan raised its reserves by 3.2
tonnes to 30.2 tonnes. Belarus added 2.1 tonnes to 41.1 tonnes.



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