How much gold does the People's Bank of China really own?

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It is widely known as a safe haven, but gold bullion is a relatively small market with the above ground value of gold estimated at around $7trn.

If you compare that to the bond and equity market capitalisations of around $140trn and $70trn respectively, it is a very small market. However, gold has become incredibly financialised. Gold derivatives are now thought to represent some 90 times the tradable inventory, making paper trading of gold a dominate force in its price determination in comparison to physical demands. Central banks, their inventories and demands also play a vital role in the price of the precious metal. However, at times the numbers involved in their intricate gold dealings can be called into question. For ...

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