Czechs have twice as much gold at home than Czech National Bank

The gold holdings of private households in the Czech Republic are twice as high as the gold reserves of the Czech National Bank, suggests a new survey conducted by gold investor

According to official data, private individuals in the Czech Republic currently own 19.35 tons of gold. This is double the amount of gold stored in the Czech National Bank vaults, which stood at 10.6 tons at the end of 2021.

“Such a disparity is quite common in richer countries,” analyst David Marášek told the Czech News Agency.

For example, German households own more than 9,000 tons of gold, while the Bundesbank has 3,362 tons. In Italy, some 6,418 tons of gold are privately owned, compared to 2,452 tons owned by the Central Bank and in France it is 4,714 tons of private-owned gold compared to 2,436 tons in the bank.

According to the Czech National Bank, gold is not an optimal instrument for modern central banks for keeping foreign exchange reserves.

“Gold has no practical value for the monetary policy of the central bank and does not play the role of foreign exchange reserves in the real sense of the word.

“The essence of foreign exchange reserves is that they can be bought or sold at any time. Gold is not sufficiently liquid, while its value is very volatile and operating costs are high,” says Czech National Bank spokeswoman Petra Vodstrčilová.

According to Marášek, the Czech National Bank purchased gold for its foreign exchange reserves four times in 2021, totalling 1.25 tons. However, net purchases after deducting gold used for the production of gold coins amounted to 777.5 kilograms.

According to Marášek, the central bank resumed its gold purchases in 2020, when it bought about 1,835 kilograms. The trend of increasing gold reserves in the central bank's vaults in recent years is obvious, he added.

The Czech Statistical Office has been tracking the amount of gold imported to the Czech Republic since 2009. By the end of November last year, total imports stood at 73 tons of the precious metal in various forms - from gold dust for the electrical industry to semi-finished products, such as plates, sheets and wires for the jewellery industry.