Romania moved another step closer to bringing all of its gold home this week.
According to Romanian news outlets, the Chamber of Deputies Budget and Finance Committee released a favorable report on legislation that would require the country’s central bank to repatriate its gold and hold it within the borders of the country.
As originally introduced, the bill would have required the National Bank of Romania to hold 95% of its gold reserves in the country. An amendment to the bill upped the level to 100%.
Currently, Romania holds about 65% of its 103.7 tons of gold at the Bank of England.
The bill’s legislative findings assert:
“Nothing about Romania’s current economic landscape justifies keeping such a large quantity of gold reserves abroad, which incur quite significant costs, considering that this reserve can be properly stored and even increased in the country.”
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The bill will now move forward for a vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
A National Bank of Romania official testifying before the committee raised objections to the bill, saying any change to the bank’s statute requires consultation with the European Central Bank. He also said the law would hinder the bank in its duty to manage the country’s gold reserves.
If the bill passes, Romania would join a growing number of countries repatriating their gold reserves.
Last year, Romania’s neighbor Hungary announced plans to repatriate its 3-tons of gold. Hungarian news reports said, “The decision seems to be in line with international trends as storage of gold reserves out of the country is now considered risky by more and more central banks.”
In the summer of 2017, Germany completed a project to bring half of its gold reserves back inside its borders. The country moved some $31 billion worth of the yellow metal back to Germany from vaults in England, France and the US.
In 2015, Australia announced a plan to bring half of its reserves home. The Netherlands and Belgium also launched repatriation programs. Even the state of Texas has put a plan in place to bring its gold within state borders.
Gold repatriation underscores the importance of holding physical gold where you can easily access it. Gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and “paper gold” have their place. But true security and stability come from physical possession of precious metals. If you can’t hold it in your hand, you don’t really possess it. That’s exactly why these countries are bringing their gold home, safe within their own vaults.
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