If the $74 billion SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was a central bank it would rank fifth on the list for largest bullion holdings, right between China and France.
GLD, the largest gold ETF, holds about 1,334 metric tons of gold, or nearly 43 million ounces.
The fund controls less than France, which has 2,435 tons of gold, making it the fourth-largest holder of bullion in the world among individual countries, according to 24/7 Wall St.
China has gold reserves of 1,054 tons, good for fifth on the list of countries.
“What is surprising in some cases is how countries with the largest GDP are not necessarily the largest holders of gold,” 24/7 Wall St. reports.
Still, the No. 1 country on the list is the U.S. with gold reserves of 8,134 metric tons.
Central banks have stepped up their gold purchases the past couple years, particularly in emerging markets.