The World Gold Council calls itself the “market development organization for the gold industry.”
It describes its mandate as working to make gold more accessible, devising solutions to broaden the understanding and use of gold as an investment asset, and ensuring the gold industry’s voice is heard on the global stage.
According to the organization’s latest rankings (as of January 2019), Lebanon has been graded 16th in the top 20 countries with the largest gold reserves.
Lebanon came in 16th place, following Spain and followed by the United Kingdom.
With 286.8 tons of gold and a percentage of Total Foreign Currency Reserves in Gold of 20.2%, Lebanon is second in the Middle-East with the most gold right after Saudi Arabia.
Gold reserves in Lebanon averaged 286.83 tons from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 286.83 tons in the second quarter of 2000 and a record low of 286.80 tons in the first quarter of 2018.
A gold reserve is the gold held by a national central bank, intended mainly as a guarantee to redeem promises to pay depositors, note holders (e.g. paper money), or trading peers, and also as a store of value, or to support the value of the national currency.
During most of history, a nation’s gold reserves were considered its key financial asset and a major prize of war.
Even though it is no longer used as a primary form of currency in nations such as the United States, the yellow metal continues to have a strong impact on the value of those currencies.
In fact, gold is used to hedge against inflation, and gold purchases tend to reduce the value of the currency used to purchase it.
On a side note, although Lebanon has a mining industry, gold is not one of its abundant natural resources.