The Riksbank has historically owned gold since it was one of its earlier obligations to be able to redeem banknotes and coins in exchange for gold! This service is now provided by bullion dealers like Tavex to the general public and not by the central bank anymore.
Nowadays, the Riksbank holds gold reserves to conduct its tasks to fund liquidity support or foreign exchange interventions. (10) As per the Riksbank, the main reason to hold a gold reserve is that the combined value of the gold and currency reserves is more stable than their respective values separately.
At the end of the year 2019, Sweden’s Central Bank- the Riksbank owned 125.7 tons of Gold valued at 57.5 Billion SEK at the time. The Riksbank stores its reserves in different geographies with the central banks to hedge against the security risk of having all of its gold in the same place. The gold owned by Riksbank is as stored as below:
As you can see in the chart below, almost half of the gold reserve is stored in the UK, at the Bank of England to allow for quick convertibility, if the need arises. As Sweden’s central bank, the Riksbank has unlimited scope for increasing the amount of Swedish Krona (SEK) (the same scope does not exist for foreign currencies) As per the Riksbank, it has a gold and currency reserve, primarily to keep inflation low and stable and promote financial stability.
As the banking sector has become large as a relation to the Swedish economy, a financial crisis could be very costly for Swedish companies and households. The reserves allow the Riksbank to intervene in times of crisis and offer loans in foreign currencies to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis and prevent it from spreading to the society, the Riksbank states.
The Riksbank has a regulatory framework for asset management: financial risk and investment policy and regulation thereof. The executive board sets the framework for the composition of gold and foreign currency reserves and risks thereof. You can read more about it here.
At the end of 2004, Sweden started reducing Gold reserves and has reduced gold reserves for almost 5 years in a row when the reserves decreased from approximately 185 tons to approximately 126 tons.