It is now more obvious than ever that gold is becoming the new global reserve currency. Continuous and aggressive central-bank actions from the United States and Europe are driving the demand for gold. Investors have not yet seen any of the real hyperinflationary pressures that seem likely down the road.
Gold’s substantial rise in price should speak for itself. In dollar terms, gold returned 11.1% in the third quarter and was up by 16% year-to-date through the end of the quarter. The World Gold Council said that gold has a low stock-market correlation through time. That was not the case in the third quarter. Gold still outperformed almost all the major equity markets in the largest gold-holding nations in 2012.
24/7 Wall St. analyzed how the gold rankings compare to each major nation’s gross domestic product and how those figures compare to the top 10 holders of gold. What is surprising in some cases is how countries with the largest GDP are not necessarily the largest holders of gold. Two small nations, the Netherlands and Switzerland, are major holders of gold. Under the terms of the Central Bank Gold Agreement among major European states, many countries are supposed to be selling gold but are not.
The United Kingdom’s $2.43 trillion in GDP is the world’s seventh largest, but its gold holdings of 310.3 tonnes rank only 17th in the world and account for only 15.9% of its total foreign reserves. Does the old term “pound sterling” mean that the British banks really care more about silver? Another standout exception is Brazil, which has tiny gold reserves compared with its GDP. Its $2.5 trillion in GDP ranks sixth in the world, yet it holds only 33.6 tonnes of gold, or 0.5% of foreign reserves. Brazil ranks a surprising 52nd in the world among gold holders.
The International Monetary Fund is the third-largest official holder of gold, with more than 2,814 tonnes. The European Central Bank ranks right behind India, with 502.1 tonnes…
Read more: Market Watch