| ANKARA, April 4
ANKARA, April 4 Turkey is taking steps to give
its central bank the right of first refusal on domestically
produced gold, two sources said, allowing it to boost reserves
of the precious metal without depleting foreign currency
Like other central banks, the Central Bank of the Republic
of Turkey holds a mix of assets, including foreign currencies
and gold, as official reserves. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) has recommended that Turkey bolster its foreign reserves
to shield itself from external volatility.
Buying more domestically produced gold, which is priced in
lira, will allow the bank to avoid depleting foreign
reserves at a time when the domestic currency, has
been hammered by political concerns.
"The central bank is being given first option," to buy
locally mined gold, said an official from the domestic gold
sector. "This means the central bank will become a primary gold
buyer in lira."
No one was immediately available for comment at the central
Under the scheme, the central bank is under no obligation to
buy domestic gold, the sources said, adding it would decide on
the timing and amount of its purchases.
A total of 27.5 tonnes of gold was produced in Turkey in
2015, according to the latest industry data, equal to around
$1.1 billion at current prices.
"It is important to increase the central bank's reserves.
This adjustment will contribute to the central bank's gold
reserves over time," one source said.
As of last month, the central bank's gold reserves stood at
$17.25 billion, according to official data.
(Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan and Stephen