Figure of the month: 8,700 tonnes
News Arnulf Hinkel, Financial journalist – 03.07.2017
The Germans and their gold: a love story. 38 percent of Germans – that is approximately 26 million people – are invested in physical gold in the form of bullions or coins. By the end of 2016, this amounted to nearly 8,700 tonnes of gold, which would make for a giant gold cube sporting edge lengths of 8.5 metres. German private investors hold about 6 per cent of the world's gold reserves, privately owned or institutional. On average, every German above the age of 18 owns 69 grams of gold. And according to a study carried out by the Research Center of the Steinbeis University in Berlin on behalf of the Reisebank, a German financial institution, the attitude of the Germans towards gold as an investment is not about to change anytime in the near future: in a representative survey, 80 per cent of the respondents claimed they wanted to hold their gold investments, and 75 per cent said they planned to further expand their gold exposure. In addition, according to the survey, the satisfaction level among gold owners has further increased compared to previous years.
The current value (as of 30 June 2017) of the privately owned German gold reserves is around €304.5 billion. This means that German private investors own roughly two and a half times as much gold as is held in the vaults of Deutsche Bundesbank, the German central bank. Even more impressive, however, is the fact that the amount of privately owned German gold even surpasses the gold reserves of the US central bank Fed: although more than 500,000 bullions are stored in the Fed vaults in New York, the US gold holdings amount to "only" 5,800 tonnes, which is quite exactly one third less than the gold of German private investors.