Three gold loan companies in Kerala, together hold nearly 265 tonnes of gold jewellery in their vaults, which is higher that gold reserves of some of the richest nations.
Muthoot Finance, Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp jointly hold nearly 263 tonnes of gold jewellery, which is higher than the gold reserves of Belgium, Singapore, Sweden or Australia.
According to the World Gold Council, India has the 11th largest gold reserves, with over 560 tonnes. India accounts for approximately 30 percent of the global demand for gold, a true and tested source of insurance for millions of families that have little access to other forms of social security. What is true for India is even more so for Kerala, where two lakh people are employed in the gold industry. The metal’s fungibility makes it ideal collateral for over-the-counter loans.
While Muthoot Finance, while Muthoot Finance holds 150 tonnes of gold as security for its loans, Manappuram Finance has 65.9 tonnes and Muthoot Fincorp, 46.88 tonnes. The combined holdings of the three are 262.78 tonnes. It outshines Singapore’s gold reserves are 127.4 tonnes, Sweden's 126 tonnes, Australia 79.9 tonnes, Kuwait’s 79 tonnes, Denmark’s 66.5 tonnes and Finland’s 49.1 tonnes.
According to GFMS Gold Survey, India tops the list of countries consuming gold jewellery, with a consumption of 107.6 tonnes during Q3 of the calendar year 2016. Compared to this, Europe and North America together consumed only 67.1 tonnes in the same period. China, the second-largest gold jewellery buyer in the world, consumed 98.1 tonnes over the same period.
The US heads the gold reserve pack with 8,134 tonnes, while Germany and IMF come next (3,378 and 2,814 tonnes, respectively).