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Rediff.com  » Business » Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Last updated on: November 12, 2010 16:22 IST

Image: A salesman displays gold plates in the form of the Indian rupee note at a jewellery showroom.
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters.

India owns over 18,000 tonnes of above ground gold stocks worth approximately $800 billion and representing at least 11 per cent of global stock, according to estimates of World Gold Council.

This is equivalent to nearly half an ounce of gold ownership per capita, a figure which is significantly below consumption in Western markets, representing scope for additional future growth", says a WGC research paper entitled 'India: Heart of Gold'.

In 2009, total Indian gold demand reached $19 billion, or Rs 974 billion, which accounts for 15 per cent of the global gold market, according to WGC.

While Indian consumers continue to stock gold despite rising prices, when it comes to total gold reserves in the country, India ranks 11th in the world with 557.7 tonnes of gold. Above the ground gold stocks is different from the total gold reserves.

Over the past ten years, the value of gold demand in India has increased at an average rate of 13 per cent per year, outpacing the country's real GDP, inflation and population growth by six per cent, eight per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

The country currently has one of the highest saving rates in the world, estimated at around 30 per cent of total income, of which 10 per cent is already invested in gold.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: A pair of gold footwear at the 'Gem and Jewellery India International Exhibition 2010' in Chennai.
Photographs: Babu/Reuters.

"India is the largest gold market in the world and, as such, the likely recovery of local gold demand to pre-crisis levels is of considerable strategic importance to the wider gold market. Gold is an integral part of Indian society and a foundation of wealth and savings in India," Eily Ong, Investment Research Manager at the WGC, said.

As consumers have adjusted their price expectations upwards, a further rise in gold jewellery and investment demand is anticipated and this trend is projected to continue over the long-run as local investors are buying gold driven by wealth accumulation motives," Ong said.

Over the past ten years, the value of gold demand in India has increased at an average rate of 13 per cent per year, outpacing the country's real GDP, inflation and population growth by 6 per cent, 8 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

The country currently has one of the highest saving rates in the world, estimated at around 30 per cent of total income, of which 10 per cent is already invested in gold.

Click NEXT to find out the world's richest countries in terms of gold reserves...

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Serena Williams wearing a dazzling gold earring.
Photographs: Hans Deryk/Reuters.

United States (Rank 1)

America has the largest gold reserves in the world. The country has 8,133.5 tonnes of gold reserves, which constitutes 72.1 per cent of the country's total forex reserves.

The USA is also the world's third highest buyer and fourth largest producer of gold.

Figures: World Gold Council, as of September, 2010.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Conservators apply gold leaf to the Golden Victoria monument in Berlin.
Photographs: Thomas Peter/Reuters.

Germany (Rank 2)

Germany has 3402.5 tonnes of gold, which is about 67.4 per cent of the country's total forex reserves.

The Deutsche Bundesbank keeps a large part of its gold holdings in its own vaults in Germany, while some of its gold is also stored with the central banks located at major gold trading centres.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Gold prices rise.
IMF (Rank 3)

The IMF ranked third has 2,907 tonnes of gold reserves.

The International Monetary Fund has sold 200 metric tonnes of gold to the Reserve Bank of India for about $6.7 billion, in a bid to increase the Washington-based financial institution's capacity to lend to poor nations.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Italian gold.
Italy (Rank 4)

Italy has a rich gold history. It has 2451.8 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 66.2 per cent of the total forex reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Gold bars.
Photographs: Reuters.
France (Rank 5)

France has 2435.4 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 65.7 per cent of the total forex reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: A store in China.
China (Rank 6)

According to the World Gold Council, the share of global gold demand in China doubled from 5 percent in 2002 to 11 percent in 2009.

China has 1054.1 tonnes of gold, which is 1.5 per cent of its total foreign reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Swiss gold.
Switzerland (Rank 7)

Switzerland has 1040 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 15.1 per cent of the total reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Gold bars are pictured at the Ginza Tanaka store in Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters.
Japan (Rank 8)

Ranked among the top 10, Japan has 765.2 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 2.7 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: A visitor inspects a gold-and-jewel replica of a Russian Orthodox Church made by Russian artists.
Photographs: William Webster/Reuters.
Russia (Rank 9 )

Russia has 765.2 tonnes of gold reserves which is about 5.7 per cent of the total forex reserves.

Russia is the world's seventh largest buyer of gold and the sixth largest gold-producer.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Jannemiek Sonneveld, 27, turns her left eye to show the latest thing in bodyfashion, the Jewel Eye.
Netherlands (Rank 10)

Netherlands has 612. 5 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 55.8 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

Image: In Netherlands, eye surgeons have implanted tiny pieces of jewellery called 'JewelEye' in the mucous membrane of the eyes of six women and one man in cosmetic surgery pioneered by an ophthalmic surgery research and development institute in Rotterdam. The procedure costs 500 euros.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: The Scottish Crown Jewels are carried by the Duke of Hamilton.
Photographs: Reuters.
ECB (Rank 12)

The European Central Bank has 357.8 tonnes of gold reserves which is about 25.9 per cent of the total foreign reserves. Europe's central banks have all stopped the sales of their gold reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: A gold certicate.
Taiwan (Rank 13)

Taiwan has 422.1 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 25.9 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Inside view of the renewed old Lisbon's restaurant Tavares room with mirrors encrusted with gold.
Photographs: Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters.
Portugal (Rank 14)

Portugal has 606.7 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 79.6 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Gold coins.
Venezuala (Rank 15)

Venezuala has 311.0 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 48.5 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

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Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Ex Oriente Lux CEO Thomas Geissler (L) and an Emirati official unveil a gold-plated ATM.
Photographs: Reuters.
Saudi Arabia (Rank 16)

With 143 tonnes of gold reserves, Saudi Arabia is ranked at 16th position. The reserves contribute 2.7 per cent of the country's total foreign reserves.

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: A worker holds a Faberge jewelled gold and enamel cigarette case by Michael Perchin in London.
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters.
United Kingdom (Rank 17)

United Kingdom has 588.3 tonnes of gold reserves which is about 15.6 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Jewellery in Lebanon.
Lebanon (Rank 18)

Lebanon has 286.8 tonnes of gold reserves which is about 25.2 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Spanish jewellery.

Spain (Rank 19)

Spain has 281. 6 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 35.9 per cent of the total foreign reserves.

Nations with the largest gold reserves: India at 11

Image: Austrian gold coin.

Austria (Rank 20)

Austria has 280 tonnes of gold reserves, which is about 35.9 per cent of the total foreign reserves.