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Turkey scrambles for gold, overtaking Russia as top buyer

Ankara's frictions with Washington fuel mad dash for the dollar alternative

Turkey has emerged as the world's largest buyer of gold for central-bank reserves this year.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Turkey has overtaken Russia as the world's largest purchaser of gold amid concerns that it could be barred from dollar settlements over cooling ties with the U.S.

Central banks around the world have been building up reserves of the precious metal in the last decade to diversify their portfolios. Russia had been a major contributor to the trend and is now the world's fifth-largest gold-owning country, holding nearly 2,300 tons, according to the latest World Gold Council figures.

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