In the World Gold Council’s March 2021 report on international gold reserves, Lebanon ranked 20th globally.
The Council said in the report that the combined gold reserves of the world’s central banks amount to 35,244.5 tons in total. It also indicated that global gold reserves have grown in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lebanon took the 20th spot on the list with 286.8 tons of gold reserves, worth about $18 billion second only to Saudi Arabia (18th in the world) in the region, whose reserves amount to 323.1 tons.
In comparison, the United States, which topped the list, possesses 8,133.5 tons as of March 2021. The U.S. is followed by Germany (3,362.4 tons), Italy (2,451.8 tons), France (2,436.2 tons), and Russia (2,295.4 tons).
Notably, the economic crisis that has engulfed Lebanon has sparked debates about the country’s gold reserves.
Some experts have highlighted the importance of these reserves, noting that they can be used as collateral to draw investments into the Lebanese market from around the world as a way to boost the exhausted economy.