Gold has been a hot topic in recent weeks as investors have been waiting on what many feel is the inevitable announcement of QE 3 from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Though that announcement has yet to come, Friday’s Jackson Hole speech brings hope to gold bugs everywhere, as another round of money printing from the U.S. will debase the dollar and give way for gold to gain. But it is not just casual investors betting on an uptrend in gold, as a number of significant investors and institutions have been increasing their gold stakes as of late [for more gold news and analysis subscribe to our free newsletter].
- George Soros: Soros’ massive purchase of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) makes headlines given the fact that he dumped the majority of his holdings when gold was in the $1,200/oz. area, leaving him on the sidelines for the metal’s historic run. He has since recanted his distaste for gold and this ETF by making a massive allocation. The last time Soros reported what was in his portfolio, he held 319,550 shares of the fund, or about $52 million worth at the time of the release. Now, it has been reported that his GLD stake has jumped to a total of 884,400 shares, worth roughly $137.3 million
- John Paulson: Paulson also made a massive bet on GLD, as the billionaire increased his GLD stake by 26% to hold 21.8 million shares of the world’s second largest ETF. That means that Paulson has approximately 44% of his company’s assets in this singular fund; a big bet that could be a make or break investment depending on the future of this precious metal [see also Three Reasons Why Gold Is Overvalued].
- Russia: Russian central bank purchases have been one of the biggest stories this year, as the emerging market has been loading up on the yellow commodity. In the trailing year, the country has purchased more than 80 tons as they now have more than $47 billion invested in physical bullion.
- Turkey: Turkey is a very recent buyer of gold, as they have purchased nearly 50 tons this year alone. The addition of gold to Turkey’s balance sheet comes from new legislation that puts gold in reserve requirements for banks, meaning this purchasing will likely continue for some time [see also Physical Gold vs. GLD: Five Questions to Find Your Perfect Goldmate].
- Mexico: Our neighbors to the south have also been loading up on this precious metal as they have been adding to their overall reserves as well as trading gold in recent months. Mexico purchased 93 tons between Q4 2010 and Q1 2011 and they acquired about 17 more tons between Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Note that they have been relatively quiet on the buying front since March, so this may not necessarily be a long-term trend, although it does appear that they buy large quantities in short spurts, so it is hard to predict.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.