A Belgrade newspaper reported on Tuesday that the Serbian authorities are planning to buy 30 tonnes of gold to in the next two years.
According to the Vecernje Novosti daily, Serbia will first increase its gold reserves from the existing 20 to 30 tonnes by the end of 2019 and then to 50 tonnes in the following year and a half.
The daily said that the pace of the increases was determined following President Aleksandar Vucic’s meeting with a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Vucic raised the question of buying gold and was told by the delegation that the IMF has nothing against the purchases if it fits in with the strategy to increase hard currency reserves.
Serbian National Bank (NBS) Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic said that Serbia has 20.8 tonnes of gold and is considering the purchase of more. “The NBS, as Serbia’s fiscal agent, has the legitimate right to step up the purchase of gold and that advice from the Serbian president is welcome,” she told a news conference at the end of the IMF mission’s visit, adding that the NBS has bought almost seven tonnes of gold since 2012 and sold 10 tonnes since 2005 and that most of the new purchases is in NBS vaults.
Unnamed sources told the daily that the president called Serbian National Bank (NBS) Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic and Finance Minister Sinisa Mali after the meeting “and literally told them: buy gold, Serbia has to be safe”.
Vecernje Novosti said that purchases of gold on the global market were higher last year than at any time in the past 50 year with the trend continuing in the first quarter of the year.