PH ups gold reserves by biggest amount in 3 1/2 years

Posted at 05/24/2012 4:19 PM | Updated as of 05/24/2012 6:48 PM

LONDON - Philippines raised its gold holdings in March by the largest amount in 3-1/2 years, while Mexico and Ukraine made additions in April, in line with the trend among emerging market central banks to diversify away from the dollar and the euro.

Data from the International Monetary Fund on Thursday showed Philippines added 32.13 tonnes of gold to bring its total to 194.241 tonnes in March, marking the biggest increase in one month since September 2008.

The figures also showed Mexico raised its gold holdings by 2.92 tonnes to 125.5 tonnes in April, while Kazakhstan raised its reserves by 2.02 tonnes to 98.19 tonnes last month and Ukraine added 1.40 tonnes to bring its reserves to 30.607 tonnes.

The gold price, which hit a record $1,920.30 an ounce in September, was down 0.1 percent on the day at $1,558.76 an ounce by 0723 GMT.

The IMF's international finance statistics report showed Sri Lanka cut its holdings by 2.177 tonnes to 7.807 tonnes in January this year, while Russia, Mozambique and Tajikistan also made additions.