Bank of France will sell 500-600 tonnes of gold over five years

Section:

By The Associated Press

http://www.forbes.com/business/services/feeds/ap/2004/11/19/ap1666207.
html

French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Bank
of France Governor Christian Noyer have finalized
discussions on the sale of a portion of France's
gold reserves.

Noyer confirmed his intention to sell 500 to 600
tonnes of the 3,000 tons of gold kept in vaults
underneath the Bank of France headquarters in
Paris over the next five years, the Finance
Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The sale will be accompanied by an increase in
cash reserves. Noyer will determine the rate at
which the gold is sold, paying particular
attention to the precious metal's market price.

At the end of five years, profit generated will
yield more than E200 million (US$262 million) per
year in interest. This sum will go to the state
to help pay off France's E1 trillion (US$1.3
trillion) debt and to finance long-term
employment, notably in the area of research, the
ministry statement said.

The agreement is a victory for Sarkozy, who has
pushed aggressively for the sale since his
appointment as finance minister in April.

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