DUSHANBE, January 20, 2011, Asia-Plus -- Tajikistan’s gold and currency reserves rose 88.8 percent in a year to January 1, 2011, reaching 663.5 million U.S. dollars, Sharif Rahimzoda, the head of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), told reporters in Dushanbe today.

According to him, major part of the country’s gold and currency reserves, 60 percent (in an amount of more than 400 million U.S. dollars), is kept in foreign banks.  “In Tajikistan, we keep little more than 250 million U.S. dollars,” the central bank head noted, adding that those funds are in constant circulation.

Rahimzoda noted that the country now had gold reserve of 5.2 tons.  “In 2010, we bought 910 kilograms of gold at domestic markets and more than 700 kilograms of gold were bought at external market,” stressed the NBT head.  “Since the beginning of this year, we have bought 18 kilograms of gold.”

On the country’s money supply (the total amount of money available in the economy), Rahimzoda said Tajikistan’s money supply stood at 2.9 billion somoni on January 1, 2011country, or 16.8 percent increase compared to the beginning of 2009.

In 2010, 832.4 million somoni of new banknotes were put into circulation and 331.2 million of dilapidated banknotes were immobilized.

Rahimzoda added that the national currency, the somoni, fell 0.7 percent against the dollar last year.