In a move very similar to their cousins in Germany, the Austrian National Bank recently announced that it will repatriate a large amount of its gold reserves.
Currently, Austria only keeps about 17% of its gold reserves within its borders. Just 3% is kept in Switzerland, but a whopping 80% is kept with the Bank of England. Since the BoE is so close to the epicenter of worldwide gold trading, many countries opt to keep large portions of their gold reserves there. However, Austrian auditors have decided that keeping so much gold in one place (and in another country) represents a concentration of risk that is too high to ignore. Just as you’d want to diversify your investment portfolio by buying things other than gold, it seems you should diversify WHERE your gold is held as well.
Just like Germany’s repatriation of reserves, Austria will move its gold gradually – with operations to be concluded sometime in 2020. By then, the new distribution of Austria’s gold reserves should look like this:
- Austria – 50%
- England – 30%
- Switzerland – 20%
Typically, when large amounts of gold start moving from country to country, speculation kicks in and the price fluctuates. Prices seem normal now – but keep in mind that rumors about Austria’s economy or the euro could change that.