Salient to Investors:

The median analyst expects gold to advance to $1,825 by the end of 2013.

Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and gold buyer. The IMF said Russia added 570 metric tons of gold over the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China. Tim Ash at Standard Bank said Putin’s gold strategy fits in with his resource nationalism, statist agenda.

The UK sold almost 400 tons of gold in the 30 months to March 2002, when prices were at two-decade lows – referred by journalists as “Brown’s Bottom”.

Marcus Grubb at the World Gold Council said world quantitative easing to support financial asset prices is driving demand for gold in the emerging world – before the crisis, central banks were net sellers of 400 to 500 tons a year, whereas now, led by Russia and China, they’re net buyers of 450 tons.

Developed nations are liquidating gold. The IMF said Switzerland sold the most in the past decade, 877 tons, followed by France with 589 tons, and Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal each selling more than 200 tons.

The World Gold Council said the US has the largest gold holdings with 8,134 tons, followed by Germany with 3,391 tons, the IMF with 2,814 tons, Italy, France, China and Switzerland, and Russia with 958 tons.

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