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German investors own about 6.5% of the world's gold reserves

posted onApril 16, 2019

In times of economic concerns, geopolitical tensions and trade disputes, the demand for safe-haven assets such as gold remains high.

According to a study by researchers from Steinbeis University, who conducted the research for Reisebank-one of the top-selling precious metal dealers in Germany -private individuals in the Western European country now hold a record amount of 8918 tonnes of precious metal. Just over half (4925 tonnes) are in the form of bars and coins while just under 4,000 tonnes are jewellery. 

The figures were calculated by the researchers for travel agencies on the basis of a representative survey of 2000 adults. Since the previous survey of this kind from the year 2016, the value of the German gold treasure grew by 246 tons.

If one adds the gold reserves of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, which stood at 3370 tons at the end of 2018, then 6.5 percent of the world's gold reserves are in German possession. At the time of completion of the study in early April, this gold had a value of more than 458 billion euros. 

"In the European comparison, the Germans hold a leading position in gold ownership. Past studies have shown that Germany is in the lead in terms of overall volume, but that per capita ownership is somewhat more pronounced in Italy, "study author Jens Kleine from the Steinbeis Research Center for Financial Services said.

According to the new Steinbeis study, under three-quarters of German citizens (74 percent) own gold in the form of jewelry, physically in the form of bars or coins, or indirectly via a special security such as "Xetra-Gold" (Deutsche Börse / Frankfurt) or "Euwax Gold" ( Stock Exchange Stuttgart). At the end of 2018, German stock exchange operator Deutsche Börse recorded a peak in gold demand:  Nearly 181.5 tonnes of the precious metal were stored in the Group's vaults in Frankfurt.

The majority of respondents said they chose to keep their gold in safe deposits at a bank (39 percent) or a precious metals supplier (5 percent), but nearly as many (38.3 percent) of gold owners said they stored bars and coins in their home. 

On average, every German over 18 years-old owns 58 grams of gold jewellery and 71 grams of the yellow precious metal in the form of bars or coins . The regional differences are noteworthy: in southern Germany, 89 grams of gold are invested in the safes on average per investor, and 55 grams in eastern Germany. 

One in four gold owners (25 percent) said they had bought the rare metal over the past two years. On average, 4730 euros were invested. Germans are placing ever more of their hopes in gold: 78 percent of the respondents want to increase their stocks further. 

Households have lifted their holdings of gold despite gold prices falling off their record high of $US1,921 per troy ounce (31 grams) reached back in 2011.

According the world's largest precious metals service provider Heraeus Precious Metals there are several indicators that the gold price could rise in 2019.