It is no secret that even as the price of Russia's primary export, oil, has been sliding in what is now a confirmed attempt by the West and Saudis to crush its grip over Syria, and in the process make Gazprom irrelevant as a critical supplier of gas to Europe, Russia has not wavered in its determination to slowly (at first) but surely diversify its dollar assets into the one currency western central banks hate the most: gold.
Just how much gold does Russia hold relative to all other key gold-holding central banks? The chart below, based on data courtesy of Santiago Capital which shows the total percentage of the monetary base backed by gold reserve and gives the answer in quite a rather fashion.
And while Russia's relative gold holdings, relative to its fiat exposure, are truly impressive, the real question we, and anyone esle should have about the chart above, is where does the red question mark representing China's gold as a % of its monetary base, currently lie. Yes, we know what China's gold was in early 2009 when the PBOC gave its last official update to the IMF, but to assume this has not changed in 6 years is ludicrous, especially since as Zero Hedge first showed back in 2011, citing a Wikileaked report of what China's Foreign Exchanges Administration reported on the topic of China's rising gold holdings. From the source:
"China increases its gold reserves in order to kill two birds with one stone"
"The China Radio International sponsored newspaper World News Journal (Shijie Xinwenbao)(04/28): "According to China's National Foreign Exchanges Administration China 's gold reserves have recently increased. Currently, the majority of its gold reserves have been located in the U.S. and European countries. The U.S. and Europe have always suppressed the rising price of gold. They intend to weaken gold's function as an international reserve currency. They don't want to see other countries turning to gold reserves instead of the U.S. dollar or Euro. Therefore, suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency. China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB."
So don't be surprised if and when China provides its next long overdue gold holdings report, if the Chinese dot is located above Russia's.