The Vatican is not just the smallest state in the world. It is also characterized by one of the most opaque financial systems. Gold reserves, real estate, treasury notes and stocks are among his assets. How high it is, however, nobody outside the Vatican walls knows.
"You cannot serve God and Mammon", Jesus Christ once said to his disciples according to the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 16, Verse 13. But times have changed, also for the Vatican. Because he has been mixing since 1942, when Pope Pius XII. founded the bank "Istituto per le Opere di Religione" (IOR) in the international money business. The "Institute for Religious Works", whose owner the respective pontiff has been since then, operates money and investment transactions of all kinds in addition to the granting of loans. How high the respective returns are and how much the Holy See has in assets, however, knows outside the Vatican walls nobody so exactly.
Vatican Financial System: Closed Society
But one thing is certain: the Vatican has considerable wealth. The estimated value is a minimum of 1.2 billion and a maximum of twelve billion euros. These include gold reserves in Switzerland and the US, real estate, treasury bonds, stocks and fixed income securities. The assets are now managed by the Curia’s Asset Administration (APSA) after the IOR financial institution was reformed in 1990 due to repeated financial scandals. However, the new administration hardly provides any insight into the financial situation either.