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Germany, Switzerland are done selling gold

Section: Daily Dispatches

Germany's Bundesbank to Keep Its Gold Reserves

From Reuters
via The Guardian, London
Monday, September 29, 2008

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Germany's Bundesbank will hold on to the vast bulk of its gold reserves in the next 12 months, the central bank said on Monday.

The Bundesbank, which is the second-largest hoarder of gold behind the United States, said it would sell no gold apart from 6.5 tonnes to the German finance ministry, as already agreed.

"The remaining sales quota will be offered in its entirety to other central banks taking part in the gold agreement," the Bundesbank said in response to a Reuters inquiry.

Under the terms of a five-year deal between 15 European central banks, the Bundesbank can sell 120 tonnes of gold a year but has consistently passed on most of its quota to other institutions and sold only enough bullion to mint coins.

The Bundesbank holds 3,400 tonnes of gold, worth about $95 billion at today's prices.

Gold was trading around $873 an ounce on Monday and has been helped by investors seeking a safe haven from market turbulence, although prices remain short of the lifetime high of $1,030.80 an ounce hit in March.

The final year of the agreement began on Sept. 27. In the fourth year, central banks were estimated to have sold about 320 tonnes of gold, well short of the 500-tonne annual limit.

The Bundesbank has refused to sell down its reserves, not wanting to hand the German government a budget windfall.

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Switzerland Finished with Gold Sales

From Reuters
Monday, September 29, 2008

ZURICH, Switzerland -- The Swiss National Bank said on Monday it had concluded the sale of 250 tonnes of gold, announced in June 2007, and said it had no plans for any further gold sales.

The SNB said in a statement it sold 137 tonnes of gold between Sept. 27, 2007 and Sept 26, 2008 after selling 113 tonnes prior to that. It said its total gold holdings were now 1,040 tonnes, adding it planned no further reduction.

In June 2007, the SNB said it would sell 250 tonnes of gold by September 2009, in line with an agreement among European central banks to limit gold sales to 500 tonnes a year.

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