Tanzania has started domestic gold purchases to boost forex reserves

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania has started buying gold locally as a way of boosting its foreign exchange reserves, the central bank said on Monday.

The central bank first announced its intention of buying gold in late August.

“The bank is therefore purchasing gold from domestic miners and traders, in Tanzanian shillings,” Bank of Tanzania (BOT) said in a statement.

On Friday, central bank Governor Emmanuel Tutuba said they were planning to buy six tonnes of gold from small and middle scale miners and other traders by the end of the year and had already bought and sold 418 kg (921.53 lb) of the precious metal.  

Gold is a leading foreign exchange earner for Tanzania, bringing the country $2.91 billion in the year to end-June from $2.69 billion a year earlier, according to central bank data.

The bank had in August put its official foreign exchange reserves at $5.25 billion recorded in July, sufficient to cover about 4.7 months of projected imports.

(Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Editing by George Obulutsa and Josie Kao)