These 10 Countries Are Hoarding Enormous Piles Of Gold

Central banks purchased 118 tones in net gold in Q2 2014, representing a 28% year-over-year increase, according to The World Gold Council.

In May 2014, the European Central Bank and other European central banks signed the fourth Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA). The agreement states that the central banks “currently do not have plans to sell significant amounts of gold”, and it will last for 5 years starting in the end of September 2014.

Country-wise, Russia saw a major increase in official reserves since February 2014, moving its place up two spots in the ranking.

Global official gold holdings totaled 31,812.0 tonnes as of August 2014, according to the latest report from the World Gold Council.

Business Insider identified the ten countries with the largest gold reserves.

Note: CBGA refers to the Central Bank Gold Agreements. The first Agreement (CBGA 1) ran from September 27, 1999 to September 26, 2004. The second Agreement (CBGA 2) ran from September 27, 2004 to September 26, 2009. The third Agreement (CBGA 3) will run for five years from September 2009.

10. India

Official gold holdings:
557.7 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:

7.3%

Gold imports by India are expected to decline for the third year, while the Indian central bank is monitoring the imports. In June, the Reserve Bank of India relaxed loan rules that banks can sanction against the pledging of gold, 'where the end use is not for agricultural purposes.'

The government has been trying to deter people from purchasing the precious metal. Gold imports have been blamed for the nation's high current account deficit. India's central bank governor Raghuram Rajan has previously said the country can pay off its debt in gold.

Source: World Gold Council

9. Netherlands

Official gold holdings:
612.5 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:

54.3%

A large portion of the Netherlands' gold reserves are held in the U.S., and some are held in Canada and the U.K. About 10% is expected to be held in Amsterdam. Earlier this year the Netherlands wanted to repatriate its gold.

Source: World Gold Council

8. Japan

Official gold holdings:
765.2 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:

2.5%

Japan's gold reserves were at just 6 tonnes in 1950, and its central bank registered its first serious jump in gold holdings in 1959, with purchases increasing by 169 tonnes from the previous year.

In 2011, the Bank of Japan sold gold to pump ¥20 trillion into the economy to calm investors after the tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Source: World Gold Council

7. Switzerland

Twenty four karat gold bars are seen at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York, June 5, 2013.

Official gold holdings:
1,040.0 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:

8.0%

In July, the Swiss central bank reported a $17.7 billion half-year gain, partially due to recovering gold prices.

In 1997, proposals were announced to sell a portion of the country's gold reserves because they were no longer considered to be 'necessary for monetary policy purposes,' according to the World Gold Council. In May 2000 the country began selling 1,300 tonnes of what it considered to be surplus gold. Under CBGA1 1,170 tonnes were sold, and 130 tones were sold under CBGA2. Switzerland has announced no plans to sell gold under CBGA 3.

Source: World Gold Council

6. China

Official gold holdings:

1,054.1 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:
1.1%

China overtook India to be the world's largest gold consumer in 2013. Gold still accounts for a very small percentage of China's $US3.7 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, compared with the international average of 10%. Building up gold reserves will be crucial to China as it moves to internationalize its currency, and hopes to make it a reserve currency, according to the Financial Times.

Source: World Gold Council

1. United States

Official gold holdings:
8,133.5 tonnes

Per cent of foreign reserves in gold:

71.9%

The U.S. had its largest gold reserves in volume terms in 1952, when reserves totaled 20,663 tonnes. Holdings first fell below the 10,000 mark in 1968.

Source: World Gold Council

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