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Where does the Vatican store its gold? Mostly in the U.S. it turns out

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New report reveals Vatican's financial information

The Vatican Bank-formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion-has released a 107-page, detailed financial report for 2013.

A new report from the Vatican bank details just where the wealth of the Catholic Church is actually stored.

A new report from the Vatican bank details just where the wealth of the Catholic Church is actually stored.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/16/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: International, Vatican, Finance


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This release comes just one week after the group published highlights of its 2013 financial statement, which was released on July 8. The first statement said that the institute's net profit for 2013 was only $3.9 million, compared to a net profit of $117.7 million in 2012.

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The detailed report, which was published on July 15 on the institute's website, is packed with information and explanations of the institute's focus, its investment policies, the division of its assets and more detailed information about its expenses, including contributions made to employee pensions.

The report also contains some odd curiosities.

The main depository of the Vatica's gold is the U.S. Federal Reserve, while medals and precious coins (more than $13 million) are kept in IOR vaults. A sharp decline in the price of gold meant that the value of Vatican gold fell from almost $40 million in 2012 to $27 million in 2013.

The Institute's officers also have almost $4.5 million in four funds set up for charitable purposes, including one to support religious orders and missionary work. Only the "Fund for Holy Masses" reported distributing any money in 2013 though, giving out almost $80,000.

The bank is also the sole owner of SGIR, an Italian-registered company which has almost $30 million in equity. The report describes SGIR as a property company.

The report also goes on to state that the institute's operating expenses include a "provision of [$1.3 million] payable to the owner of the building in which the IOR conducts business." The bank is located in the 15th-century Tower of Nicholas V on the eastern edge of the Apostolic Palace.

There is also nearly $340 million invested into external funds; 99% of the money is invested into funds that have their legal headquarters in Europe, while the remaining 1% is based in the U.S.

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