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Showing posts with label RBI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RBI. Show all posts

Monday, 14 May 2018

Reserve Bank of India adds 2.5 tonnes of gold to forex reserves in Q4

This was the first instance of gold being added to the forex reserves since 2009

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has added 2.5 tonnes of gold to foreign exchange reserves for the quarter ended March 2018 in two tranches.

This is the first such addition after 2009, when the central bank bought 200 tonnes of the yellow metal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at $1,032 per tonne. According to IMF data (updated till March 2018), India’s gold holding in forex reserves rose to 560.3 tonnes by the end of March 2018. The RBI did not respond to email queries till the time of going to press.“The addition looks like a pilot purchase. The net impact is that reserves are up marginally. This is not significant and does not imply strategic addition, unless we see a creeping acquisition trend,” a source said. “This was a decision taken by the government before the Budget presentation. But due to the sensitivity of the issue, it was not announced,” another source added. Globally, central banks, including in Russia and Turkey, add gold to forex reserves to hedge against the dollar. The Turkish central bank announced a policy in May 2017, replacing the dollar as a prominent asset in its foreign exchange reserves. Turkey’s commercial banks also hold huge gold deposits.

These are placed with the central bank under the reserve option mechanism. The country is the 11th largest gold-holding country in forex reserves at 595.5 tonnes. Russia has been buying over 200 tonnes of gold per year since the last three years to add to its forex reserves and reduce dollar dependence. Its reserves are bigger than China’s, making them the sixth largest in the world. Russia and China buy most of their gold locally since they are prominent gold miners.

According to sources, India could add gold mobilised by the Gold Monetising Scheme to its forex reserves. The RBI was likely to have purchased gold in March from two London-based banks, they added. Gold buying by central banks has been on the rise in the last few years, with 350 to 400 tonnes of gold being bought annually. China buys gold locally, but announces with a lag. However, according to GFMS Thomson Reuters, China will buy gold this year to add to its reserves after two years.

Source :

Sunday, 25 May 2014


                                        - Mr. Prithviraj Kothari : MD, RSBL(Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)
On Friday, Gold prices were moving between small gains and small losses as the markets were quite calm as investors reined in their trading activity ahead of a long weekend in U.K. and the U.S. Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,291.32 during trading hours where as silver was 0.3% lower at $19.391 an ounce. 

Through the week gold prices were held in a tight range between around $1280 and $1315. 

Gold prices remained low this week on strong dollar and the remarks released by the FED of a positive US economic recovery but with the Ukrainian elections Sunday, news out of the region may finally give the gold market the catalyst it needs to break through.

The market has been pulled between good news and bad news and this is what is given gold that pull and push. The big question and the reason why we are stuck in this range is the uncertainty about where to go next and need to determine what themes should be the overall driver for this sector at the moment. 

Global monetary factors in particular continue to favour gold.  In addition, geopolitical risk remains high, particularly as the Ukraine elections approach, and, longer-term, Russia and China cosy up, a significant long-term global game-changer to which Washington appears oblivious.
  • Holdings in exchange traded products backed by physical gold continue to hit new 4½ year lows while physical demand may receive a boost from pent up Indian demand later this year when import restrictions are expected to be eased by the new government.
  • In India, the government has just authorized seven more private agencies to import gold, thus easing gold import restrictions, which will lead to lower premiums and a rise in gold demand as the wedding and festive seasons will start in August. The easing out of the 80:20 rule is still a drag, however the relaxation to include the trading houses should be seen as a positive development. 
  • The record high premiums that were being charged in the market have and will continue to drop drastically as supplies will be good. The premiums have fallen from record highs to nearly $40 which is expected to reduce to $25 as the time passes by. Usually 30-35 Tonnes of gold is imported, but With this rule relaxation, supply is expected to increase to  60-70 tonnes
  • In Europe, the ECB is expected to ease monetary policy in the 5 June meeting as inflation is too low and economic growth is too slow at 0.2 percent in Q1
  • According to a recent Bloomberg/CME Precious Metals Conference, the East holds the key to gold’s outlook. With China printing its money faster than mining its gold, consumers will continue to demand gold to protect them against inflation
To sum it up, gold prices have got glued to the $1300 level and until we see a critical shift in market dynamics such as correction in the equities market or some statement from the Fed or some escalation in crisis, we continue to see gold in this range.

Gold has been moving in this sideways pattern for over a month and has formed a wave like pattern.

Now what we need to watch for is more important-
  • We will keep an eye on Ukraine’s 25 May presidential vote, 
  • The U.S. April durable goods orders and March housing prices on 27 May, 
  • The U.S. Q1 GDP second release and Japan April CPI and industrial production on 29 May, 
  • The Philadelphia Fed President Plosser’s (FOMC voter) speech 
  • The April U.S. Core PCE Price Index on 30 May. 

As per the current market trends gold is expected to range between $1272- $1310 in the international market and Rs.27,000- Rs.28,500 in the domestic market.

On the other hand silver is expected to move between  $18.85- $20.20 and Rs.39,500- Rs.41,500 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets - MD, RSBL(Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

- Previous blog- "MODIfying India"

Monday, 19 May 2014

MODIfying India

-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL (RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.)

Firstly, heartiest congratulations to Mr. Narendra Modi on his historic win. It was a time for celebration for entire India. messages, jokes, headlines etc were exchanged as Mr. Narendra Modi enjoyed a momentous win in the worlds largest democracy.

As India welcomes its most awaited PM with open arms, we saw Mr. Modi's effect extending across all assets class.

Friday at the prospect of a stable government led by Mr. Modi, whose own state, Gujarat, prospered under his leadership. stocks and the rupee jumped on optimism that Modi will make good on campaign promises to create jobs and attract foreign investment in all sectors except for multi-brand retail.

Indian rupee also benefited, strengthening to an 11-month high of 58.63 rupees to the U.S. dollar Friday. and Sensex sky rocketed at 25,000 (1400 points up.) while results were still being out.
This appreciation of the rupees pushed bullion prices down.

Gold and silver tumbled terribly on Friday. Though in the international market gold was at a weekly gain, in India , the prices declined as the rupee strengthened. Gold plunged almost 350 rupees and silver was down 825 rupees on the commodities exchange. Meanwhile, in the international market gold was playing a different move.

After dropping more than 1 percent on Wednesday, spot gold prices gained on Thursday as investors digested comments by Federal Reserve chair person that central banks are in no rush to reduce the size of its balance sheet. 

The yellow metal was also supported by escalation of geo-political tensions as pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, a move that could lead to war. However, comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's that the bank may act to stem falling inflation at its June meeting knocked the euro and the strength in dollar capped sharp gains in prices.

Gold prices fell on Thursday on positive US unemployment claims data which weakened the precious metals complex while dollar strength added to the bearish sentiments.
Stronger growth is expected post the poor winter growth. backed up by data this week showing strong housing starts and an uptick in consumer prices, might move up the Fed's plans for raising benchmark interest rates from near zero.

Half of the sates in US now have unemployment rates below 6 per cent. This figure shows that the jobs market in US is improving but at a slow pace. While employers in 39 states added jobs, we see that hiring too is picking up well.

On Friday, Gold saw slight gains in Asia before it fell to $1291.95  and then bounced back to $1296.09 in the next four hours of trade, but it then dropped to a new session low of $1288.02 after  housing data was released and the yellow metal ended with a loss of 0.19%.  Silver slipped to as low as $19.271 and ended with a loss of 0.62%.

The Economy

Housing Starts
Building Permits
Michigan Sentiment


For now, the gold market’s key drivers are, first and foremost, the flow of U.S. economic indicators as they affect expectations about prospective Federal Reserve monetary policy . . . and, second, of a more temporary nature, the ebb and flow of geopolitical anxieties arising from events in and around Ukraine.

Now that India has formed  a stable government and that the world picture is minutely fading and getting clear, market players are once again expected a rally in gold prices.

Reasons Being- 

Import duty reforms in India- The his morning, for example, as I write the news has come through that India’s ruling Congress party has conceded defeat in the world’s biggest democratic election to Narendra Modi’s BJP which may even win enough votes to take power on its own without its coalition partners. The BJP is thought to be more sympathetic to gold and could repeal, or reduce, the import restrictions that have led to India falling from first place as the world’s biggest gold consumer. 
This will lead to a rise in demand for gold from India which in turn will push gold prices high.

Physical Demand- Demand for gold from China is also expected to provide support for gold. This factor will give gold a wild card entry into the bulls market. over the next three to five years the demand from Asia and, also from Central Banks which have been buying gold rather than selling it over the past couple of years, will actually be sufficient to drive the gold price higher.

U.S. Economy- Many traders expect the US economy to deteriorate further which will compel the Fed to rethink about its policy prospects. The recent statistical improvement in the U.S. economy is little more than a bounce back from the past winter’s weather-induced economic chill. 

As a more realistic view of economic prospects takes hold, the financial markets will re-assess expectations of Fed policy – and this could be the catalyst triggering a resumption of gold’s long-term bull market. 

At the same time, equities are due for a setback – perhaps mild, more likely not so gentle. Either way, the competition for investment funds between equities and gold – a competition that equities have won in recent years – will shift increasingly toward bullion
when we expect to see a deterioration in the economic indicators and a reassessment of Fed policy prospects.

De- Dollarization- Russia is actively pushing on with plans to put the US dollar in the rear-view mirror and replace it with a dollar-free system. Or, as it is called in Russia, a “de-dollarized” world.
Russian Ministry of Finance wants to reduce the share of dollar denominated transactions and is hence ready to green light a plan to radically in the role of Russian ruble in export operations. Dollar will then be replaced by gold. This too will give a support to gold prices.

Geo-political tensions in Russia-  as we all know, tensions in Russia can escalate any moment thus increase the chances of a war. Any spark in the geo-political crisis in Russia will shoot up gold prices.

Meanwhile, gold is expected to range between $1272 to $1310 in the international market and Rs. 28,000- Rs.29,000 in the domestic market. 
On the other hand silver is expected to range between $18.80-$20.00 and Rs.40,000- Rs.42,500 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets - MD, RSBL(Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

- Previous blog- "Gold on a see-saw"

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Is it the right time to buy Gold, Silver & Platinum?

No doubt this had to be the blog for the week. Precious metal prices have been rocketing down for the entire week.

Let’s first focus on the reasons for the price fall:
1.    FED’s QE3 is being unwound at a steady pace. Tracking the improving US economic conditions, FED might even increase the pace of tapering.  QE was responsible to set record highs for gold and the same is the reason for its downfall in 2013.

2.    Ukraine turmoil had given the much necessary support to safe haven buying assets like Gold where the prices were on an upward spiral. As the turmoil continues to unwind itself and most of the news being discounted by the market participants, the support is slowly fading away.

3.    Physical demand is a concern. Bloomberg had reported that Iraq had increased their Gold reserves by a massive 36 tons in March and IMF data showed that Turkey was back increasing their Gold reserves by 9.3 tons in February. Hong Kong Trade Statistics showed a strong month of Chinese Gold imports for February, which were a net of 109.2 tons, which was 30% more than January and 80% more than the previous year. When I had seen these stats, I did feel that the physical demand is holding strong to support the Gold price fall. But frankly, Turkey or Iraq aren’t the main supporters for Gold. Undoubtedly it has been the show of Asian countries and majorly China. Now to track Chinese physical demand, I take support of SGE premiums. When the prices fall, SGE premium is the first one to go up, while that has not been the case lately. SGE premiums have been locked in a negative territory or hardly minutely up despite Gold price fall from $1390 to $1290 in a span of 2 weeks or so. Due to this I feel that once March data is released, it is likely to show a decline in imports relative to February numbers as SGE premiums were in positive range for most of the time in Feb.  With SGE premiums mostly in negative to hardly anything, it would have been less attractive to import metal. Even the But as the economic uncertainties increasingly looming over Chinese banking sector through shadow banking issues, I feel their physical purchases would dampen a bit.

4.    On the domestic front, Gold and Silver prices are dropping faster than its dollar denominated counterparts. Rupee has appreciated considerably when compared to dollar over the past few weeks. This has led to downfall in gold prices. Indian government and RBI had to take tough decisions over the past year and now the results are paying off. With the CAD in control, Indian economy is looking to improve from here on. Due to which investors are regaining their faith in India and investments are gradually increasing.

5.    Silver prices are more or less dragged along with Gold prices. With regards to platinum, the AMCU does not seem to be willing to accept less than double salaries, as it announced it would give Platinum producers one year extra time to adjust the wages and would only then return to work

My take on Gold prices in dollar terms will be in the range of $1180-$1400 i.e. INR 26500 to INR 32500. I feel this is the range that the investor should keep in mind while buying Gold.

My take on Silver prices in dollar terms will be in the range of $18.50-$23.50 i.e. INR 41000 to INR 47000. I feel this is the range that the investor should keep in mind while buying Silver.

Like others I do feel that if overall the economy improves than the downward journey for precious metals will continue. But like others, I feel the below given reasons will always play a crucial role in providing returns to the investors who trust on Gold and other precious metals.

1.    With the upcoming elections in India and CAD in control, I do expect that the new government will surely take some steps to boost the R&D for mining Gold in India as well as provide some relaxations in Gold import policies. If that happens, Asian demand will get a boost from India. But government policies will play a key role as they know the best when it is about deciding the best for Indian economy.

2.    As the prices head lower, I am sure that the physical demand will improve drastically world over and not only China because everyone knows that Gold is the only asset that can be taken into account during any economic turmoil.

3.    Gold will always play an important role in geopolitical conflict situations and economic uncertainties.

4.    As the prices continue to spiral down, mining industry will face hurdles to operate in low margin or no margin environments. If that is taken into consideration, I feel that their operational costs will rise more than the income they generate from mining creating the necessary closure of mines as it will be difficult to stay in business in such conditions.

5.    Silver and Platinum continue their downfall as they are more or less dragged along with gold prices. But as the economy improves their use in industries across the world will continue to rise and in turn increase their demand and prices.

6.    The bubbles created by money printing and market manipulation - not just in the U.S., but the entire world has never been universally unbacked, nor government intervention so widespread. This has not been seen over the years and the stimulus programmes have led to gigantic balance sheets of central of banks of the world under the word: “Economic Development”

Gold has always stood by one and all when it comes to economic uncertainties. But with Central banks and governments trying their best to revive their economies, Gold is loosing its investment appeal to some extent, as investors look for short term benefits.

I feel buying physical Gold, Silver and Platinum should be on cost averaging basis. It has been a successful strategy since the bull year began, though it would be a bit strange for the investors who started investing in the last couple of years.  I am sure Gold or for that matter any precious metal investments would always give best returns if considered as long term investment options and something that you can bank on in financial instabilities.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets- MD,RSBL (Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.

- Previous blog - "GOLD GOES ON A BUMPY RIDE"

Sunday, 23 March 2014


-By Mr. Prithviraj Kothari, MD, RSBL (RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.)

On Monday, gold reached a high of $1391.99, after the Crimean people had voted over the weekend in favour of joining Russian Federation. As Putin passed on the legislation, the west did their move with the first sanctions on Russia, now it is time to wait and see what Putin Replies. 

After shifting focus from Ukraine issues, gold then concentrated on growth figures from China and then the US tapering.

On Wednesday, gold dropped two percent, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank will probably end its massive bond-buying program this fall, and could start raising interest rates around six months later.

It was a bumpy week for gold. After surging to near $1,400 earlier this week when Crimean voters agreed to join Russia, gold prices tumbled, picking up speed after the Federal Open Market Committee cut another $10 billion from its monthly bond purchases, and new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed may consider hiking interest rates about six months after it ends its quantitative easing program.

The US data so far has been supple. The month of Feb did not show a positive growth (weather conditions and harsh winter to be blamed) but now the economic growth is expected to accelerate.

However, the bank said it could take several more weeks, until April economic data is released, to get confirmation that the economy is  fact picking up. The Fed, as expected, tapered its QE by $10 billion on 19 March. With inflation staying low, rising nominal interest rate will lead to a jump in the real interest rate, which will likely cause the gold prices to trade lower.

Apart from this, precious metals were also partly related to the data released from the Chinese economy. The worries over this have also been rampant. The growth forecasts of China have been downgraded by many. In fact in 2014 the growth is expected to be 7.3 per cent compared to the prior estimate of 7.6 per cent. This means that the demand for gold will be affected which in turn will push gold prices down as China plays a central role in the market and had also become the leading consumer of gold in the world in 2013.

On the domestic front, this week, RBI added 5 domestic private banks to import Gold under the 80/20 rule, which is will assist in facilitating imports and ease premiums to some extent. Their quota will be dependent on how many customers do they have for exports.

India's CAD level is now nearly at 4 years low. The deficit is around$4.5 billion in Oct-Dec period as compared to $5.2 billion in the previous year. This is surely good news for Gold trade in India as it provides a chance for the government to work out strategy to allow Gold imports, but the time frame for that decision to come will take sometime since general elections are just about to begin.

What we need to watch out for in the week-
U.S. - Consumer Spending, new home sales on 25 March, the U.S. Q4 final GDP and core PCE Index
U.K.- Consumer Price Data
Japan- Inflation rates
Germany-a report on business confidence, IFO Business Climate Index
China- March flash manufacturing PMI 
Europe- Developments in Ukraine and Crimea

Since there is a lot to watch out for gold, giving "a" particular prediction for the yellow metal gets difficult at this stage.

But in the long run, gold is expected to be range bound by $1272-$1430 in the international market and Rs.28,000- Rs.31,500 in the domestic market.

On the other hand silver is expected to range between $19.55 and $23.00 and Rs.43,000- Rs.52,000 in the international and domestic markets respectively.

The primary purpose of this blog (Prithviraj Kothari's view on Bullion Markets- MD,RSBL (Riddisiddhi Bullions Ltd.)) is to educate the masses of the current happenings in the Bullion world.
- Previous blog -
"Lots of If's and But's for gold"