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Largest Gold Bullion Holding Countries

Largest Gold Holding Countries:

Gold has been a popular choice among investors, and it is the most popular investment among all precious metals. It is generally seen as a safety against economic and political problems that could cause a currency crisis, like uncontrolled national debt, war, inflation, and currency failure. In the past few quarters, gold has seen a significant growth with investors still avoiding the risks of stock trading over commodity trading. However, central banks around the world are still looking to buy gold in order to diversify their portfolio and strengthen their euro holding.
In the year 2011, the central banks of China and Mexico began buying lots of gold while Venezuela began to repatriate its gold. According to the World Gold Council, recent reports show that central banks have become net gold buyers. Gold purchases have touched a 40-year high. By the middle of 2011, it already reached 148.4 tons. Much of this demand can be traced to emerging markets. Given below is a list of countries that have the highest official gold reserves as per the World Gold Council.

13. Portugal
With a total holding of 421.6 tons, Portugal has the 15th largest gold reserve in the world. The central bank of the country, Banco de Portugal, oversees the holdings that are valued at around $19.7 billion and equal to 89 percent of the foreign reserves of the country. Portugal is a developed country with the 19th highest quality of life as per a 2005 report by the Bloomberg Global Innovation Index. It is one of the most peaceful and globalized nations in the world and a member of the United Nations and the European Union.

12. Taiwan
Taiwan moved to a multi-part democratic government with universal suffrage during the 1980s and 1990s. In the second half of the 20th century, Taiwan saw incredible economic growth as the country began rapid industrialization. Today, it has an advanced industrial economy. It is part of the Four Asian Tigers as well as the APEC and WTO. It has the 19th largest economy in the world, of which its advanced technology industry plays the biggest role. The country is also ranked high in terms of public education, health care, freedom of press, human development, and economic freedom.
With an advanced technology industry and strong economic growth rates, Taiwan also has one of the largest gold reserves in the world today. its central bank, the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan), manages around 465.6 tons of gold reserves, which accounts for approximately 5.9 percent of the foreign reserves of the country.

11. European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is the central bank for the European Union. Both were established in 1998, and play a big role in the development of monetary policies for its member nations. Headquartered in Frankfurt, the ECB has around 553.4 tons of gold in reserves, and this accounts for around 35 percent of the total foreign reserves.

10. India
Officially referred to as the Republic of India, the country has the second highest population of around 1.2 billion. In terms of area, it is seventh largest country in the world. This also makes it the most populous democracy in the world. It has the 10th largest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product and the third largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. After a series of economic reforms in the early 1990s that freed up the market, India emerged as one of the fast-growing economies and soon become a newly industrialized country.
With some recent purchases by the Reserve bank of India, its central bank, the gold reserves of the country climbed up to around 557.9 tons. However, the gold holdings of the RBI are still behind that of other central banks around the world. The RBI remains largely quiet about its gold-buying plans, but it is known to consider the precious metal as a safe investment and buys most of its gold from the IMF.

9. Netherlands
The Netherlands has a long history of progress. It was one of the first nations with an elected parliament, and it is the founding member of several international organizations like the WTO, OECD, NATO, and EU. It forms the Benelux Economic Union along with Luxembourg and Belgium, and it has the 10th highest per capita income in the world. The economy if the country is market-based. It holds the 13th rank among 157 other economies in the Index of Economic Freedom. The country was also ranked by the OECD as the happiest country in the world in a 2011 report.
In the last decade or so, the central bank of the Netherlands, called the Dutch National Bank or DNB, sold over 1,000 tons of gold. However, as of 2008 it stopped loaning gold. According to the DNB, gold is an important investment because of the safety it provides during financial crises and its role as a financial reserve. It holds gold for diversification, and the bank does not intend to sell its gold reserves for the foreseeable future.

8. Japan
A country that grew tremendously in the last half-century to become a major economic power, Japan has the third largest economy in terms of GDP as well as PPP. In terms of imports and exports the country stands at fourth position in the world. Since World War II, Japan officially renounced its Right to declare war, but it does maintain a strong modern military with the sixth largest military budget in the world.
During the recent tsunami and nuclear disaster, the central bank of the country, called the Bank of Japan, sold over ¥20 trillion worth of gold in order to fuel its economy and calm investors. The gold exports of the country hit the 100 metric tons mark in 2011. Headquartered in Chuo, Tokyo, the Bank of China has around 765 tons of gold in holdings.

7. Russia
The largest country in the world with an area equal to around an eighth of the world’s inhabited land area. Russia also has the ninth largest population in the world with 143 million in the year 2012. It extends across the length of northern Asia, crossing nine time zones and incorporating a number of different climates and environments. The country has the largest mineral and energy reserves and is the largest oil and natural gas producer in the world. It also has the largest forest reserves in the world. Russia’s numerous lakes contain a quarter of the liquid fresh water on earth.
With the country topping the list on so many counts, it comes as no surprise to see that it has the seventh-largest gold reserve in the world with over 851 tons being managed by the Bank of Russia, Moscow. The country’s central bank bought around 15 tons of the precious metal during the third quarter of 2011 as part of its plan to build up its gold reserves in the long run. Most of its purchases, however, have been from the domestic market.

6. Switzerland
One of the richest nations in Europe and the world in terms of per capita GDP, Switzerland also has the highest wealth per adult among other countries. Its two biggest cities, Zurich and Geneva, have the second and eighth highest quality of life. Switzerland also has the 19th largest economy in terms of GDP and 36th largest in terms of PPP. It ranks 20 among exporters and 19 among importers. Between the years 2000 and 2005, the central bank of the country, the Swiss National bank, sold over 1,200 tons of gold as part of the country’s effort to launch the Euro. At present, it has a little over 1,040 tons of gold in holdings, and its gold reserves make up for a quarter of the total reserves of the country.

5. China
China has been on the rise economically for some years now. it has the largest population in the world with over 1.3 billion citizens. The single-party government headed by the Communist Part of China has its capital in Beijing. Futuristic economic reforms began in 1978, triggering rapid growth of the economy. Since then, it has grown to become the second largest economy in the world, next only to the United States, in terms of PPP and total GDP. It is also the second largest importer and largest exporter of goods in the world.
The central bank of China, which is called the People’s Bank of China, has over 1,050 tons of gold in holdings, and it plans to buy more gold as a safety net against inflation, property bubbles, and currency crises, especially against the US dollar and Euro. The PBC buys its gold from the domestic market, but the gold hardly ever goes directly towards the reserves.

4. France
France is the third largest country in Europe and the largest in Western Europe. It also has the second largest exclusive economic zone and the fourth largest gold holdings in the world. France has, in fact, been a major historical power with strong political, military, economic, and cultural influences in the world. It has the fifth largest military budget and the largest military among other EU nations. In the NATO, it has the third largest deployable force. France is a founding member and a leading state of the European Union, not to mention the largest one by area. It holds the 20th rank in the Human Development Index as of 2010 and the 24th rank in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
The Banque de France, headquartered in Paris, is the central bank of the country and holds around 2,435 tons of gold. As per a pact with other central banks of EU nations, the Banque de France has limits on its gold sales. During a one-year period between September 2009 and 2010, the bank sold 10 tons of gold, in keeping with the agreement.

3. Italy
The fifth largest country in terms of population, Italy has over 60 million citizens. Its capital, Rome, has been the religious and political center of the Western world for several centuries. It has been the capital of the Roman Empire, and it is also the home of the Holy See of the Catholic Church. Italy is the founding member of the Eurozone and the European Union, along with being a member of the NATO, G20, and G8. It has the third largest gold reserves, tenth highest GDP, eight highest nominal GDP, and sixth highest national budget. Italy is a member of various other international organizations, including the United Nations, Council of Europe, Western European Union, and World Trade Organization.
The country has over 2,451 tons of gold in holdings. During the recent economic crisis, the country’s central bank, Banca d'Italia, had to buy gold in order to improve the balance sheets of Italian banks before the stress tests.

2. Germany
Germany is the largest member nation of the European Union with over 81 million inhabitants. Moreover, the country has long been a major economic and political power in the European continent, as well as a leader in technical and theoretical fields. Germany has the fifth largest economy in terms of PPP and the fourth largest one in terms of nominal GDP. It also ranks second and third in terms of goods export and import, respectively. The country is known for a very high standard of living, a comprehensive social security system, and the oldest universal healthcare system in the world.
The central bank of Germany is the Bundesbank, and it has over 3,400 tons of gold in holdsings. In 2011, the bank sold 150,000 ounces of the precious metal as per an IMF report. This gold was given to the finance ministry in order to mint commemorative coins. The country does not plan to use its gold reserves to improve the EFSF.

1. United States
The US has the largest national economy with a GPD of over $15.6 trillion in 2012. It has the sixth highest per capita GDP, with an economy fueled by a highly developed infrastructure, natural resources, and high productivity. A post-industrial country, the United States is a superpower with strong political, cultural, and economic force in the world. The country has around 8,133 tons of gold in reserves.