Gold investors face bind over bars from tarnished Russia – by Peter Hobson (Reuters – August 1, 2022)

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Some investors want Russian gold off their books but it’s not that easy to remove. A de facto ban on Russian bullion minted after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine — instigated by the London market in early March — does not apply to hundreds of tonnes of gold that has been sitting in commercial vaults since before the conflict started.

Fund managers looking to sell the metal to avoid the deepening reputational risk of holding assets linked to Russia in their portfolios could trigger a costly scramble to replace it with non-Russian gold, according to bankers and investors.

“This would only serve to damage investors. It doesn’t damage the (Russian) regime,” said Christopher Mellor at Invesco, whose fund has around 265 tonnes of gold, 35 tonnes of it produced in Russia with a market value of around $2 billion.

The dilemma facing investors reflects Russia’s heft in the global bullion trade and its hub, the London market, where gold worth around $50 billion changes hands daily in private deals.

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