Germany’s central bank is moving faster than planned to bring much of its gold reserves to Frankfurt.
Up till now it has been stored in places like New York and Paris stashed away at the height of the Cold War in safe havens well out of Soviet reach.
It is the world’s second biggest bullion reserve – 3,378 tonnes, worth around 120 billion euros.
Half will be relocated to Germany by the end of 2017, but the rest will remain abroad.
With Europe beset by economic crises, the German public has grown uneasy about keeping the gold abroad. Some even argue the world’s second biggest bullion reserve may be needed to back a new deutschmark, should the eurozone break up.
With French Presidential candidate Marie Le Pen and Italy’s 5-Star Movement openly campaigning to pull their nations out of the euro, confidence in the common currency appears to be waning.
No Trump effect
Germany’s central bank has denied that Donald Trump’s presidency had anything to do with the long-plannned move.
“We have a lot of discussions about Trump, regarding implications on monetary policy, macroeconomics, etc., but we trust the central bank of the US,” Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told a news conference.
“Trump has not triggered a discussion about the storage facility in New York,” he said.
Thiele added that Britain’s plans to leave the EU have had no effect on the plans, since London remains a key gold-trading market and a safe place for storage.
During the Cold War, 98 percent of Germany’s gold was stored abroad, with the biggest chunk moved so far, some 931 tonnes, brought back from the Bank of England in 2000.
Once the relocation is completed, the Bundesbank will keep 1,236 tonnes in New York, 432 tonnes in London and the rest in Frankfurt. The current move involves 300 tonnes from New York and 374 tonnes from Paris.