The Iraqi central bank announced that it has purchased a massive 36 metric tonnes* of gold this month. This purchase is valued at over $1.5 billion. Iraq had 29.8 tonnes of gold reserves in January, so this huge purchase more than doubled the government's gold holdings. Gold still only makes up 1.7% of total foreign reserves, according to the World Gold Council, so there is plenty of motive for more purchases in the future.
Governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, Abdel Basset Turki, told reporters that this huge influx of gold into the nation's reserves was "to stabilize the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies." This purchase of gold was the largest by any central bank since the central bank of Mexico bought 78.5 tons in March 2011.
Using the latest numbers from the World Gold Council, Iraq has moved up 13 places, from #52 to #40 on the list of central bank gold reserves.
*36 tonnes equals 39.683 US (short) tons or 1,157,426 troy ounces.
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