Russians boosted precious metal investments during Covid crisis

The coronavirus pandemic has spurred a record demand for gold, silver and other precious metals in the Russian capital, state lender Sberbank has revealed.

In Moscow alone, 8,879 ingots of different precious metals with a total weight of 1.162 tons were sold last year, the bank said citing its data. The purchased precious metals were worth more than 1.975 billion rubles (around $26.761 million) – that is 2.5 times more compared to investments made in precious metals during the pre-pandemic 2019.

Most of the funds were invested in gold bullion bars. According to Sberbank, Muscovites bought more than 6,000 ingots, weighing 389kg worth 1.89 billion rubles ($25.61 million). 

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Silver was the second most popular metal, with investments for 2,400 silver bars with a total weight of 759kg totaling 51.3 million rubles (over $695,600). Platinum and palladium attracted 36.4 million rubles ($493,500) and 1.1 million rubles ($14,900) respectively. 

Meanwhile, the demand for gold and silver coins tripled in 2020 compared to a year earlier. Sberbank sold over 205,917 investment and commemorative coins, weighing 2.5 tons and worth around 6.5 billion rubles (over $88 million). Gold and silver coins named ‘Saint George the Victorious’ gained the most popularity among Muscovites. 

Sberbank says that rising financial literacy among Russians as well as the desire to save and boost their assets elevated demand for precious metals. Last year saw gold shining amid market chaos, with bullion prices rising nearly 25 percent. Silver also spiked in 2020, gaining around 50 percent year-on-year.

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