Top Ten Countries With Largest Gold Reserves In Current Gold Stock Market : Who Own Most of the World’s Gold?

Wed, May 23, 2012

List Of Countries With Most Gold Reserves

The global gold bull market has sparked an outbreak of gold fever around the world.

Gold was estimated to make up about 2% of total financial assets held around the world.

largest gold reserves in the worldNow, the percentage may be higher, but you’ll find gold bullion (and gold derivative assets including rare coins, ETFs, gold mining stocks, etc.) in far more portfolios than you did just a few years ago.

World’s Largest Gold Reserves: Who Own Most of the World’s Gold?

Still many questions remain about the Future Of Gold And Gold Prices. We here at Contrarian Insights see a well over a decade of Financial Repression ahead. That means real (after inflation) interest rates will stay negative. The gold bull market has years left to run as a result.

The thing is, gold is a very limited asset. There are 165,000 tons of gold bullion in the world. And only 220 tons of gold are produced each year – or just over one tenth of one percent (0.0013) is added to the total world gold reserves each year.

So with gold demand rising and gold supply relative static, it’s no surprise to see central banks around the world buying gold.

So which countries are having the most foresight on the future of gold? Who owns the most gold?

The answers may surprise you.

Some countries have sold a bit. Most are buying. Some, like China, are buying very big and will likely continue to do so.

Here are the Top 10 Gold holders in the world.

world gold reserves 2015

Top 10 Gold Reserves in the World

10. Japan

Japan’s economic “lost decade(s)” haven’t hampered it’s appetite for gold.

The country which has tried to intentionally inflate its currency for years has managed to acquire sizable gold reserves and continues to hold them.

Japan Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
843.5 tons
Market Value: $43.2 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 0.2125
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $340
Percent of the World’s Gold: 0.46%

9. Russia

Russia knows the Golden Rule (he who owns the gold, makes the rules). And the long time geopolitical provocateur hasn’t passed up the commodity boom years and it’s enormous nine-figure foreign currency reserves to amass a sizeable leadership role in world gold reserves.

Russia Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
960.1 tons
Market Value: $49.2 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 0.2226
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $356
Percent of the World’s Gold: 0.53%

8. Switzerland

Switzerland has had a long association with gold. Swiss bank vaults are some of the most trusted in the world.

So Switzerland may be the eighth largest owner of gold in the world. On a per capita basis, however, it’s by far number one. In fact, Switzerland owns more than three times gold per capita than #2 Germany.

Switzerland Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
1,146.5 tons
Market Value: $58.7 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 4.796
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $7,673
Percent of the World’s Gold: 0.63%

7. China

China has emerged as the lender to the world. Its trillion-dollar-plus foreign exchange reserves are far and away number one in the world.

The communist country has leveraged its large reserve base into a global commodity shopping spree. China has aggressively been buying copper, oil, other natural resource reserves, and invested directly in many mining companies across the world.

Chas also steadily bought gold. And each time China announces a gold purchase, gold prices climb.

The aggressive gold buying has put China at number seven on the list of the world’s top gold holders.

However, on a per capita basis, China is still far behind many of the other large world gold holders. China has less than two hundredths of an ounce of gold per capita. The U.S. has 33 times more gold per gold per capita and Switzerland has 173 times more than China.

China Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
1,161.9 tons
Market Value: $59.5 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 0.0277
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $44.29
Percent of the World’s Gold: 0.64%

6. SPDR Gold ETF (NYSE:GLD)

The SPDR Gold ETF (NYSE:GLD) has become the preferred vehicle for gold investors around the world. Leading investors including John Paulson and George Soros have amassed and traded around multi-billion dollar positions in SPDR Gold ETF, a.k.a. GLD.

The SPDR Gold ETF has many advantages in liquidity, low costs, and low premiums to the price of gold which gold bullion just can’t match.

In the end, renewed investor demand for gold SPDR Gold ETF has made it the sixth largest gold owner in the world.

SPDR Gold ETF Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
1,213.9 tons
Market Value: $62.2 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: N/A
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: N/A
Percent of the World’s Gold: 0.67%

5. France

France has been at the center of the ongoing Euro crisis. Despite its ballooning fiscal deficits, decades of slow economic growth, and dim future economic prospects, the country still has a lot of weight in decisions made in the Eurozone.

There aren’t too many reasons for it besides it has a relatively large economy (#2 in Europe) and it owns a lot of gold.

France Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
2,684.6 tons
Market Value: $137.5 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 1.3216
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $2,115
Percent of the World’s Gold: 1.48%

4. Italy

Italy may be in one of the worst fiscal positions of any country in the Eurozone – and no way out of them – but it still has held on to its sizeable gold reserves.

Italy Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
2,702.6 tons
Market Value: $138.4 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 1.4179
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $2,268
Percent of the World’s Gold: 1.49%

3. International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF has famously been selling off some of its gold reserves to fund bailouts and other economic meddling around the world.

It is made up of almost every country in the world. Its financial base is made up through Special Depository Receipts (SDR). Although a bit complicated in their technical structure, SDRs are basically deposits made by the IMFs member countries.

The largest IMF depositors are also the world’s largest holders of gold reserves. Namely the United States is the largest depositor in the IMF with 17.09% of the SDRs.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
3,101 tons
Market Value: $158.8 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: N/A
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: N/A
Percent of the World’s Gold: 1.70%

2. Germany

Germany has been the fiscal rock of the European Union. Without Germany’s support, nothing in the Eurozone can get done.

It also has a long history of productivity, economic growth, and currency and geopolitical activity. As a result, it has built and kept a large base of the once, future, and only reserve currency – gold.

Germany Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
3,743.7 tons
Market Value: $191.7 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 1.4789
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $2,366
Percent of the World’s Gold: 2.06%

1. United States

The United States is often maligned for its fiscal position. Although warranted, few pundits realize or ever point out the United States is by far the largest owner of gold in the world.

Granted, that’s doesn’t provide much hope for a country destined to lose its status as the printers of the world’s reserve currency. It does, however, show the United State’s gold reserves give it a solid base in the event of global economic catastrophe.

United States Gold Reserve Facts
Gold Reserves:
8,965.6 tons
Market Value: $459 billion
Ounces of Gold Reserve per Capita: 0.9317
Market Value of Gold Reserve per Capita: $1,461
Percent of the World’s Gold: 4.93%

Note: Market values based on $1600/oz gold price.

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