China’s gold reserves top 1,000 tonnes: state media

BEIJING, April 25, 2009 (AFP) – China’s gold reserves rose 75 percent from 2003 to 2008, state media said, reporting that Beijing now had the world’s fifth largest holdings of the precious metal. China had 1,054 tonnes of gold by the end of 2008, up 454 tonnes from the 600 tonnes that it said it had in 2003, the last time it reported its reserve figures, Xinhua news agency said in a report Friday.

The new figures, released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, has been reported to the International Monetary Fund, Xinhua said.

China has adjusted its gold reserve holdings twice since 2000, raising the holdings from 394 tonnes to 500 tonnes in 2001, and to 600 tonnes in 2003, Hu Xiaolian, head of the administration, told Xinhua.

China holds the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, which stood at 1.954 trillion dollars at the end of March, up from 1.946 trillion dollars in December, official data showed.

On Friday, gold prices raced higher on concerns about the US economy and strong Chinese demand.

By late Friday on the London Bullion Market, gold jumped to 909 dollars an ounce from 870.50 dollars the previous week.

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