The gold reserve
Like many other central banks, the Riksbank owns gold. This is because one of the Riksbank’s earlier obligations was to redeem banknotes and coins in exchange for gold.
Nowadays, however, gold is a financial asset that, like the currency reserve, aims to ensure that the Riksbank can carry out its tasks. The gold can, for example, be used to fund liquidity support or foreign exchange interventions.
The gold makes the gold and currency reserve more stable
The main reason why Sweden still has a gold reserve is because the value of gold does not normally follow the same pattern as the value of the currency reserve. Consequently, the combined value of the gold and currency reserve is more stable than the value of the gold reserve and the currency reserve separately.
The Riksbank has concluded an agreement with a number of other central banks, the Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA), which places a limit on the amount of gold central banks may sell each year. This has been done to avoid sales having undesirable effects on the gold price.
On 31 December 2017, the Riksbank owned 125.7 tons of gold at a market value of SEK 43.2 billion. The gold is stored in the central banks of the United Kingdom (BoE), Canada (BoC), the United States (Fed) and Switzerland (SNB), as well as at the Riksbank (RB).