Twelve Major commercial banks, and Istanbul Gold Refinery (IAR), embarked upon a project to change people’s gold saving habits, according to Ayşe Esen, CEO of IAR. The goal was to dissuade them from hoarding precious metal at home, reports Daily Sabbah.
100 tons of gold was “put back into the financial system.” Another 3,000-5,000 tons remain under people’s mattresses.
“We are aware of the fact that there is around 3,000-5,000 tons of gold saved under mattresses, which amounts to an informal economy with a size of $200-300 billion,” Esen said. “Putting this amount of gold back into circulation could bring solutions to many of the country’s financial problems.”
IAR will continue its work with banks and the government to encourage individuals to hold their gold savings in banks. Many people in Turkey have gold, preferring the metal to bank products. The country has one of the lowest private savings rates among major economies.
The Turkish Treasury and Finance Ministry issued gold bonds and certificates for 15,479 kilograms (34,125 pounds) of the precious metal on Wednesday. The ministry collected 8,707 kg of gold of 995/1000 purity for bonds and 6,772 kg for lease certificates.
A 0.75% semi-annual coupon/lease rate will apply to the bonds and certificates, which will be settled on Friday and mature on April 16, 2021. The Treasury issued the certificates in return for gold bars weighing a minimum of one kilogram.