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The total world reserves in 2014-Q2 was $12.00 trillion, of which 60.7% was held in US dollars, 24.2% in Euros, 4% in Yen and 3.9% in UK Pounds.
Almost all of these reserves are held by individual countries in the form of bonds, mostly earning very small interest rates. This is like money invested in a bank, but in reality it is money being lent to the issuing country.
Since the reserves are mostly in US dollars and Euros, the issuing countries have little reason to hold much as reserves. The USA’s total reserves amount to about $139 billion. Contrast this to India’s $398 billion and China’s $4055 billion.
By 2011, the picture had been flipped on its head: emerging and developing countries held 67% of total reserves, with less than 39% allocated. Emerging countries now hold roughly $6.8 trillion in reserve currency.