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How Much Gold Central Banks Have Added To Their Gold Reserves This Year

Derek Wolfe

Updated: August 24, 2022

Central banks largest gold holdings
Editor’s Note:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Central banks have collectively added 207 tons of gold to their monetary reserves in 2022. The reason for this is obvious, but we’ll quote the head of the Polish National Bank to complete the thought: “Gold is the safest reserve asset: it diversifies geopolitical risks and is an anchor of confidence, especially in times of stress and crisis.” We’ll add that today’s geopolitical and macroeconomic environments provide anything but certainty and confidence in most global prospects, at least for the foreseeable future. So, how much gold in reserve are central banks hoarding? The article provides an accounting, according to World Gold Council data. Let’s take a step to the side for a moment. Given all this central bank and government gold buying activity, presumably as a monetary hedge against economic and geopolitical uncertainty (and we won’t discount the attractive low prices or the strong likelihood for capital appreciation), how much gold do you have in “reserve”? If your answer is “none,” then are you seeing a ray of sunshine that somehow most central banks have missed? 

Central banks around the world continue to add gold to their reserves, with 270 tons of gold added since the beginning of the year to June.

Governor of the Polish National Bank, Adam Glapiński, summed up why central banks hold gold: “Gold is the safest reserve asset: it diversifies geopolitical risks and is an anchor of confidence, especially in times of stress and crisis.”

A spokesperson for the Hungarian Central Bank said that gold increases financial stability and enhances market confidence.

In line with the historical value of gold, it remains one of the safest instruments in the world, which, even under normal market conditions, is known for its stability and reliability, he added.

Poland’s central bank has been one of the biggest buyers in recent years, along with Hungary, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and India, according to SchiffGold and Al

Below are the 20 largest gold hoarders in the world based on the latest data from the World Gold Council:

  • US – 8,133.5 tons
  • Germany – 3,355.1 tons
  • Italy – 2,451.8 tons
  • France – 2436.6 tons
  • Russia – 2298.5 tons
  • China – 1948.3 tons
  • Switzerland – 1040.0 tons
  • Japan – 846.0 tons
  • India – 768.8 tons
  • Netherlands – 612.5 tons
  • Turkey – 457.7 tons
  • Taiwan – 423.6 tons
  • Kazakhstan – 383.9 tons
  • Portugal – 382.6 tons
  • Uzbekistan – 363.9 tons
  • Saudi Arabia – 323.1 tons
  • UK – 310.3 tons
  • Lebanon – 286.8 tons
  • Spain – 281.6 tons
  • Austria – 280.0 tons

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also owns 2,814.0 tons of gold, which would have ranked it third in the world if it were considered a country. The European Central Bank owns 504.8 tons of gold, ranking 12th.

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