Romania may bring most of its gold home.
Romania’s ruling party chief has submitted a bill that would require the country’s central bank to keep 95% of its gold within the borders of the country. Currently, about 60% of Romania’s 103.7 tons of gold is stored at the Bank of England.
The bill’s legislative findings assert:
“Nothing about Romania’s current economic landscape justifies keeping such a large quantity of gold reserves abroad, which incur quite significant costs, considering that this reserve can be properly stored and even increased in the country.”
Romania currently holds some of the highest gold reserves in central Europe.
If the bill passes, Romania would join a growing number of countries repatriating their gold reserves.
Last year, Romania’s neighbor Hungary announced plans to repatriate its 3-tons of gold. Hungarian news reports said, “The decision seems to be in line with international trends as storage of gold reserves out of the country is now considered risky by more and more central banks.”
In the summer of 2017, Germany completed a project to bring half of its gold reserves back inside its borders. The country moved some $31 billion worth of the yellow metal back to Germany from vaults in England, France and the US.
In 2015, Australia announced a plan to bring half of its reserves home. The Netherlands and Belgium also launched repatriation programs. Even the state of Texas has put a plan in place to bring its gold within state borders.
As Bloomberg reports, Venezuela’s recent experience trying to access its gold reserves stored in England emphasizes concerns about holding reserves abroad.
“Venezuela recently was stymied in its effort to pull $1.2 billion worth of the metal out of the UK The Bank of England, home to the world’s second-biggest gold vault after the New York Federal Reserve’s in Manhattan, denied the request as the country is under international sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Gold repatriation underscores the importance of holding physical gold where you can easily access it. Gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and “paper gold” have their place. But true security and stability come from physical possession of precious metals. That’s exactly why Hungary and other countries are bringing their gold home, safe within their own vaults.