Gold “is an asset that people want to hold when they are very fearful about potential financial-market catastrophe or economic troubles and tail risks,” said Federal Reserve Chief nominee Janet Yellen before the Senate Banking Committee last month. “When there is financial-market turbulence, often we see gold prices rise as we see people flee into it.”
While the global financial system has been relatively stable this year, nations around the globe continue to keep an interest in gold. In the first three quarters of 2013, total gold demand totaled 2,805 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council. Central banks accounted for almost 300 tonnes, worth about 14.1 billion.
The precious metal has been viewed as a safe haven for over 5,000 years, and several nations hold more than 1,000 tonnes. Let’s take a look at the 10 nations with the largest gold reserves, based on international financial statistics and the WGC.