Venezuela sells off gold reserves due to economy deterioration

26 May 2016

The gold reserves of Venezuela have reached their historic lows following the selling of metal for $ 1.7 billion in the first quarter to repay debt, CNBC reports. According to the IMF, the gold reserves of Venezuela fell by almost a third last year, and this year the country also has sold more than 40 tons in February and March. The current share of gold in foreign-exchange reserves which amount to 12.1 billion dollars is 66%. Venezuela has more crude oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, but in recent years the country has suffered from management errors, as well as from the recent oil prices decline. The export component of the country is 95% of the oil sale proceeds. Despite the recent price increase, declining oil production will continue to have a negative impact on the economy. Venezuela started selling gold in March 2015. The country has moved into the 21st place on the gold reserves, which amount to approximately 273 tons as opposed to 366 tons in 2010. Last year, the country exchanged a portion of gold reserves for $ 1 billion in cash under the deal with Citi. Former President Hugo Chavez was going to liberate Venezuela from the "dictatorship of the dollar" and called on the Central Bank to begin accumulating gold. In 2011, as a protection measure against market instability, Chavez repatriated most of the gold back to Caracas.

Sourсe: RIA News Gold Mining Manufacturers' Reporter