Germany gold: Central bank to bring home some reserves

Gold bars Gold is seen as a store of value and a hedge against inflation

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Germany's central bank is to bring back almost 700 tonnes of gold reserves it keeps in New York and Paris.

By 2020, half of its gold bars will be in its vaults, the Bundesbank said. It currently keeps less than a third at home.

The bars were originally taken out of Germany as a precaution against an invasion from the Soviet Union.

Central banks keep gold abroad so that it can be used to quickly buy foreign currency in times of crisis.

The Bundesbank will no longer keep any of its reserves in Paris, as both countries use the euro.

It will reduce the amount it holds in New York from 45% to 37% by the end of the decade.

No gold will be moved out of the Bank of England's vaults, however. It will still keep 13% of its total reserves in London, the German central bank said.

According to the BBC's Berlin correspondent, Stephen Evans, the German audit office has criticised the government for not keeping a proper track of the bars,

It has even suggested some of the bars may not have been checked to see if they are real, he added.

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