IMF gold sales threat raised for 427th time in 3 years -- by guess who!


UK's Brown Sees More Support for IMF Gold Sales

By Andrew Peaple
Dow Jones Newswires
Saturday, April 14, 2007

WASHINGTON -- More support now exists for the International Monetary Fund to sell part of its gold reserves to meet its future financing requirements, U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown said Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the Fund's International Monetary and Financial Committee, Brown said more countries were coming into line with plans to sell off some of the IMF's gold.

"What I found encouraging today was that there are countries which previously had not been prepared to consider gold sales but were prepared to do so now," Brown said, adding there was "no doubt" that gold sales were potentially part of the IMF's likely future financing.

Brown said that an independent report into future IMF financing had recommended that any gold sales should take place in a "measured way."

IMF Managing Director Rodrigo Rato said the more efficient use of existing Fund resources would form part of a package of proposals on future financing it is now preparing.

But Rato said that any gold sales would be limited to around one-eighth of the Fund's total gold resources.

"I have to say that some of the gold-producing countries have expressed that this is a way (of future financing) that could be seen as constructive, but nobody has yet given a final position," Rato said.

According to the IMF's Web site, the Fund holds 103.4 million ounces (3,217 metric tons) of gold, valued on its balance sheet at a historical cost of about $8.8 billion. The IMF's holdings were valued at $68.4 billion at market prices at the end of March.

Despite the more positive sentiment towards IMF gold sales, the plan is likely to meet some opposition from countries such as the United States and Germany, as well major gold-producing nations fearful of a fall in the commodity's price.

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