The news that Venezuela plans to repatriate 211 metric tons of its gold held internationally is part of a global trend that has been underway for nearly two years as the worldwide economic environment becomes increasingly shaky, an analyst said Thursday.

The recent release of the Bank for International Settlements' annual report showed that central bank deposits of gold declined by a massive 635 metric tons, Edel Tully, a UBS strategist, said in a report.

We suggested that one reason for the decline could be down to a central bank now preferring to house its gold at home, rather than with another central bank. Following Venezuela's move yesterday, this reasoning has more weight. This preference to hold gold in Venezuela, where ironically the political risk factor cannot be ignored, is perhaps best understood as reflecting a general desire for control in uncertain times.

Tully also noted that this week's announcement by President Hugo Chavez that he will nationalize the country's gold mines underscores not just his pattern of nationalizing domestic industries but also the growing attraction that more and more monetary authorities feel for gold.

In simple terms this is another central bank that wants gold to play a greater role in its international reserves and solidifies the trend of central banks since the fourth quarter of 2009, said Tully.