The Federal Court of Auditors has called for a thorough audit of its gold stocks in the wake of complaints last year from euro sceptics inside Germany. The critics object to so much of it being held abroad and have called for it to be repatriated.
According to Handelsblatt, 45 per cent of Germany's gold is deposited with the US Federal Reserve, 13 per cent with the Bank of England and 11 per cent with the Bank of France. The remaining 31 per cent is held at the Bundesbank's headquarters in Frankfurt.
The reason for so much gold spread in foreign central banks goes back to the Cold War, when the gold was shipped abroad for safe keeping, the newspaper had said yesterday.
All the gold stored in France, which like Germany belongs to the euro zone, is to be brought back, the paper reported.
Some of the stock in Britain and the United States will remain there for foreign exchange purposes in accordance with a court recommendation, Handelsblatt added.
While the Bundesbank declined to comment on the report, it has scheduled a press conference on the subject for early today.
The Bundesbank holds the world's second biggest gold reserves, after the United States, with 3.396 tonnes at the end of 2011, for $177 billion, according to court records.