Travel restriction hikes national gold & silver reserve

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While foreign trade and exports decline amid the global health crisis, Mongol Bank is ramping up its purchase of precious metals.

The central bank reported acquisition of 1.4 tons of precious metals in April, which is almost three times higher than the 540 kilograms bought in April 2019. Over the last four months, Mongol Bank purchased 6.7 tons of gold and silver, with half of this amount obtained in January alone. Out of all bought precious metals, five tons were gold and the rest silver.

In April, Mongol Bank’s branch in Darkhan-Uul Province purchased 15.9 kilograms of precious metals, while the branch in Bayankhongor Province purchased 74.5 kilograms.

The dramatic surge in national precious metal reserves was most likely induced by travel restrictions and border closures placed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Mongolia. Experts speculate that the heightened supervision at border checkpoints has blocked passages for engaging in illicit gold and silver trade with other countries.

Last year’s gold purchase was unusually low due to uncertainties in the legal environment and raised royalty fees.

At present, the average price of gold stands at 149,986.18 MNT per gram, according to the central bank.

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan