17 Feb 2017
by Kenneth Schortgen Jr, The Daily Economist:
In a move that is completely opposite to the way Western governments and central banks see the monetary power of gold, the central bank for the nation of Kyrgyzstan on Feb. 15 called for every one of their citizens to work towards buying and owning at least 100 grams of gold.
Starting in 2015, Kyrgyzstan began offering gold bullion to their citizens as a way to diversify their wealth in the face of global financial turmoil, and to protect against the ongoing currency wars that were seeing nation after nation devalue their currencies and accrue massive debts.
A landlocked nation perched between China and Kazakhstan is embarking on an experiment with little parallel worldwide: shifting savings from cattle to gold.
One of the first post-Soviet republics to adopt a new currency and let it trade freely, Kyrgyzstan’s central bank wants every citizen to diversify into gold. Governor Tolkunbek Abdygulov says his “dream” is for every one of the 6 million citizens to own at least 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of the precious metal, the Central Asian country’s biggest export.
“Gold can be stored for a long time and, despite the price fluctuations on international markets, it doesn’t lose its value for the population as a means of savings,” he said in an interview. “I’ll try to turn the dream into reality faster.”
In the two years that the central bank has offered bars directly to the population, about 140 kilograms of bullion have been sold, Abdygulov, 40, said by phone from the capital, Bishkek.
“We are hopeful that our country’s population will learn to diversify its savings into assets that are more liquid and — more importantly — capable of retaining their value,” he said. In rural areas, cattle is still the asset of choice for investors and savers, according to Abdygulov. – Bloomberg
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