Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucic, has violated the independence of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) for the second time.
As just over two years ago, the President of Serbia allegedly “ordered” the NBS to buy gold and, as he said, the idea would be discussed together with top experts in the field.
In October 2019, the NBS already purchased 9 tonnes and, in November 2020, another 3 tonnes of gold following the President’s order. A few days ago, speaking about Kosovo and Metohija, Vucic mentioned the economy and currency reserves, saying that gold reserves would be increased to 50 tonnes.
At the moment, Serbia has 36.3 tonnes of gold in currency reserves, worth about $2.2 billion.
Of the approximately 14 billion euro of foreign exchange reserves managed by the National Bank of Serbia, about 7 billion are in first-class securities, 5.3 billion euro are cash on deposit in foreign banks and about 1.7 billion euro are in gold.
In any case, the law and regulations of the NBS clearly state who is in charge of what when it comes to foreign exchange reserves. It is the NBS Board that adopts the Strategy of Management of Foreign Exchange Reserves, while the NBS Executive Committee manages the reserves on the basis of strategic documents and guidelines, determining in detail how the foreign exchange reserves are managed, the types of assets and their allocation.
Nowhere is the President of the Republic mentioned as person who can make such decisions. Yet, two years ago, as well as a few days ago, he decided in which type of assests the Bank should invest the state reserves.
Miladin Kovacevic, a member of the NBS Council, points out that the body has adopted a Strategy for the Management of Currency Reserves, which stipulates that the NBS will decide for itself when and in what type of assets to invest in.
This post is also available in: Italiano