1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) moves 100 tonnes of gold from the UK to Indian vaults, the first since 1991.
2. Over half of RBI’s gold reserves are held overseas.
3. Bank of England and Bank of International Settlements provide secure custody.

New Delhi, May 31: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has relocated approximately 100 tonnes (1 lakh kilograms) of gold from the United Kingdom to its vaults in India. This marks the first large-scale transfer of gold reserves since 1991.

Over half of the RBI’s gold reserves are currently held overseas, with secure custody provided by the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements. However, about a third of these reserves will now be stored domestically.

The move is expected to help the RBI reduce storage costs associated with keeping gold reserves abroad.

As of March 31, 2024, the central bank held 822.10 tonnes of gold as part of its foreign exchange reserves, compared to 794.63 tonnes at the same time last year.

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal highlighted the significance of this transfer, noting that it signifies a departure from past failures such as the gold shipment out of India during the 1991 balance of payments crisis.

Also Read: Heatwave Claims 54 Lives in India, Duststorm Expected in Delhi Today

In 1991, India pledged gold to raise funds during a severe balance of payments crisis. This history underscores the symbolic importance of repatriating gold reserves back to India.

Over the years, the RBI has consistently increased its gold reserves, diversifying its assets and hedging against inflation and foreign currency risks.

The strategy of holding gold is part of the central bank’s broader aim to diversify its foreign currency assets and manage risks effectively.

The majority of India’s gold reserves are stored domestically in vaults located on Mumbai’s Mint Road and Nagpur.

Global central banks hold about 17% of all the gold ever mined, with reserves reaching 36,699 metric tons by the end of 2023.

Central banks have been net buyers of gold since 2010, with significant acquisitions occurring over the last 14 years.