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Central banks in Russia, China and the Philippines are expected to continue to increase gold holdings to balance their reserves, a senior official at the World Gold Council told Reuters.

Central banks have rekindled interest in gold as part of their monetary reserves after the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.

“While Asian central banks are continuing to build dollar balances, they will continue to build gold reserves,” George Milling-Stanley, managing director of government affairs at the World Gold Council (WGC) said in an interview during his visit to Seoul.

“They are using dollar incomes to buy more gold … I believe Russia, China and the Philippines continue to increase gold reserves.”

China, with the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, had just 1.5 percent of its reserves in gold as of September, below 5.7 percent for Russia and 13.5 percent for the Philippines, according to the WGC.

Their gold holdings fall far short of those of advanced countries such as the United States and Germany, which stand at around 70 percent of their reserves.

Milling-Stanley sees gold as a liquid asset, with the global gold trading value estimated at averaging $80 billion-$160 billion per day, bigger than the size of a single European bond market.

The Philippines uses gold as financial assets for a swap with other Asian countries and international settlement. “They will continue to accumulate gold to make gold live asset,” Milling-Stanley said, in reference to the Southeast Asian country.

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