In an interview with Bloomberg News, Governor Tolkunbek Abdygulov said the central bank had sold around 140 kilos of gold to the domestic population.
It’s part of a drive to steer some citizens away from denominating their savings in cattle.
“Gold can be stored for a long time and, despite the price fluctuations on international markets, it doesn’t lose its value for the population as a means of savings,” Abdygulov told Bloomberg’s Evgenia Pismennaya and Ana Andrianova. “I’ll try to turn the dream into reality faster.”
Gold is the main export of Kyrgysztan, a landlocked, former Soviet state which shares a border with China. It has a population of around 6 million people which means that Abdygulov’s plan would see the population own 600 tons of gold, or 30 times the national annual output of the precious metal.
Bloomberg said he “declined to specify a timeframe” for meeting the goal.
Kyrgysztan isn’t alone in its appreciation for gold bullion. The rise of Donald Trump, Brexit, and political shocks has driven demand for gold from the British “person in the street,” the chief of the UK’s Royal Mint said last month.
“We’ve definitely seen more activity in gold” following an increase in political uncertainty in the past year, Adam Lawrence, the chief executive of the Royal Mint, said in an interview with Business Insider in London.
“Gold is seen as a safe haven and what we’ve tried to do with gold bullion is make it accessible. We’ve made it easier for the person in the street to invest in real gold.”
Source: Business Insider UK