The world's central banks last year bought 534.6 tons of gold in 2012, the most since 1964, the World Gold Council said in a quarterly report.
Purchases by central banks for the full year rose 17% compared with 2011, while fourth-quarter purchases of 145 tons marked a 29% rise from the same period a year earlier. "Central banks' move from net sellers of gold to net buyers that we have seen in recent years has continued apace," with official sector purchases across the world now at their highest level for almost half a century, said Marcus Grubb, managing director for investment at the World Gold Council.
“China and India remain the world’s gold power houses, and by some distance, despite challenging domestic economic conditions. In India, consumer sentiment towards gold remained strong despite measures aimed at curbing demand, reaffirming gold’s role in Indian society. In an underdeveloped financial system in India, gold has an important role to play.Notwithstanding the predicted economic slowdown in China, investment demand was up 24% in Q4 on the previous quarter and jewellery consumption held steady at 137.0t. ," Grubb continued.