China's secret gold stockpile may be world's 2nd largest
The People's Bank of China may have tripled its gold stockpile since April 2009, when it last gave an official number, which Bloomberg Intelligence estimates to be 3,510 metric tons, second to United States 8,133.5 tons of gold. The figure, almost triple the 1,054 tons of gold reported in 2009, was derived based on trade data, domestic output, and China Gold Association figures by Bloomberg Intelligence.
China, which only reports its gold stockpiles every few years, made a similar move between 2008 and 2009, when it just about doubled the bullion stock. Including gold, China is estimated to have $3.8 trillion in currency reserves, which are also not disclosed.
The massive increase may be a move to make the yuan more competitive against the US dollar. The People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan has made it an unspoken mission to turn the yuan into a global currency, and an IMF reserve currency. China has undertaken many economic reforms to allow its currency to free float within a few years.
The US dollar is currently the most popular reserve currency as it accounts for 63 percent of world central bank holdings, according to the IMF. In February, the yuan was the seventh most used currency worldwide in SWIFT payments, down from number 5 in December.