As the sound of traditional drums, trumpets and cymbals ushers Amrita Mannil into the wedding hall, she’s adorned by four finely crafted necklaces, rings, 16 bangles, a glistening belt, dangling chandelier earrings and a stone-encrusted head piece to match the silk borders of her dress. She’s wearing about 800 grams (1.8 pounds) of gold.
China may have bought 300 metric tons of gold in the first half of this year to diversify its foreign- exchange reserves, the world’s largest, according to Philip Klapwijk of Precious Metals Insights Ltd.
Russia reduced gold reserves for the first time in a year in September as Mexico cut holdings for a 17th straight month, according to the International Monetary Fund. Kazakhstan expanded assets for a 12th month.
Gilbert Mosala shuffles across the deserted parking lot of Buffelsfontein Gold Mine in central South Africa, home to the world’s largest gold reserves. In the past year, almost 95 percent of his 2,500 colleagues were fired.
Ben S. Bernanke, the world’s most- powerful central banker, says he doesn’t understand gold prices. If his peers had paid attention, they might have stopped expanding reserves that lost $545 billion in value since bullion peaked in 2011.
Eni SPA, Italy’s biggest energy company, has a group of 10 Houston business people waiting to buy its Dassault Aviation SA Falcon 2000 jet. What it doesn’t have is the U.S. paperwork needed to sell the plane.