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Isarescu about BNR' gold reserve : Every time we exceed 100 tons something happens to Romania

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Romanian Central Bank - BNR governor Mugur Isarescu resumed the idea that the gold reserve should stop growing and showed that every time the level of 100 tons was exceeded “something happened to Romania”. His statement came when the government prepared a project to open Rosia Montana exploitation. “Although I don’t want the gold reserve to grow, there are 100 tons because I am superstitious. Every time we went over 100 tons something happened to Romania. This time we should stick to 100 tons, which is enough,” Isarescu declared at the annual symposium of banking history and civilization with the topic “Gold in history of central banks”, the 21st edition hosted by BNR.

 

Gold appreciated for 12 years until September 2011, when it reached the record price of 1,923.7 dollars an ounce (about 61,8 dollars per gram). Later on its price went down and is now 30% under the 2011 level. Anyway quotations are a lot over those of eight years ago.

 

Since 1880, when BNR was set up, gold reserves have fluctuated according to historic events wars and political decisions- and the cycles of economic growth. Romania had less than 15 tons of gold at the end of the 19th century and reached a record level in 1940 with 140 tons, ranking 12th in the world. Then Romania had more gold than central banks of Italy, Austrakia, Greece, Brazil or Norway, a little less than Japan, World Gold Council data show.

 

In 1900 Romania had 10.5 tons of gold. The reserve doubled in the next 5 years to reach 22.5 tons in 1905, to reach 140 tons in 1940.An important inflexion was recorded over 1915-1920 when Romania handed over its treasury to Russia. So BNR had less than 2 tons of gold in 1920, but reached 73 tons in 1925, from 64 in 1915, the year before handing over the treasury.After WWII, there are no data about the BNR gold reserve. Reports come back after 1973 when Romania became a member of IMF. The state had 71 tons of gold then, which grew constantly until 1985, to reach 119 tons.

 

The reserve went down to 48 tons in 1987 and 45 tons in 1988, when Nicolae Ceausescu decided to sell gold to pay the state debt. At the end of 1989 BNR bought 20 tons and the reserve became 68 tons.

After 1989 the reserve grew constantly until 1999 being maintained at 103-105 tons since the year 2000 to the present day.

 

According to Adrian Vasilescu, a councilor of the BNR governor, the central bank has not bought gold after 1999 when VAT was introduced and domestic gold became more expensive by 24%.

 

The gold reserve is now 103.7 tons (4.17 billion euro), ranking Romania 34th in the classification about gold reserves led by the USA with 8,000 tons.

 

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