Gold ETFs had net outflows of US$9bn in 2021 led by North American funds

Physically backed gold ETFs saw global outflows of 173 tonnes (t) (-US$9.1bn, -4.0% AUM) in 2021. Collective gold holdings were down 5% to 3,570t for the year, while assets under management (AUM) in value terms dropped 9% to US$209bn as net outflows were compounded by a 4% contraction in the gold price.  Despite considerable outflows for the year, gold ETF holdings remain significantly above pre-pandemic levels, as they posted record inflows of approximately 875t (US$48bn) during 2020.

Bullion trade: India gold market series

With very little mining and modest levels of recycling, India is heavily reliant on bullion imports to meet its domestic demand. Indian official imports have continued to grow despite high import duty with official imports averaging 760t over the last decade.

Gold Market Commentary

Gold rose 2% in November based on the LBMA reference price, rallying early in the month before giving up most of those gains in the following weeks.

Gold ETF flows turn positive in November led by North American funds

Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net inflows of 13.6 tonnes (t) (US$838mn, 0.4% AUM) in November, the first month of positive flows since July. Inflows into North America and Europe well exceeded outflows from Asia, which saw negative flows for the first time since May. Global gold ETF holdings rebounded from year-to-date lows, increasing to 3,578t (US$208bn) as investment demand for larger gold ETFs returned amid decades-high inflation and heightened market volatility. 

Advancing Islamic Finance Through Gold

Gold has long been valued for its distinctive investment benefits. Although gold is no longer the basis of the international monetary system, its status as a bastion of stability has endured, a role which has become ever more important in today’s uncertain environment.

Central Bank Digital Currencies and Gold

Together with our partners at OMFIF, we have written a report on the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the implications for the gold market. CBDCs can potentially enable a wide range of new features. Money can become programmable, allowing policymakers to incentivise certain spending behaviours that can optimise economic impact or address social concerns. The trackable nature of CBDCs can also help to deter financial crimes. The ability to easily deploy “helicopter money” may also spark concerns about inflation.