Friday, August 7, 2009

European Central Banks Agree to Lower Gold Sales Ceiling

European central banks have announced a new 400 ton ceiling for bullion sales over the next five years, 100 tons below the current limit.

Under the new agreement signatories to the Central Bank Gold Agreement, which includes most of the European central banks, agreed to drop the limit on annual sales at the start of October 2009.

The Swiss National Bank, one of the signatories to the new accord, in a statement today said it isn’t planning any gold sales in the near future, and that its gold is an important part of monetary reserves. Switzerland has 1,040 tons of gold, making it the seventh-largest holder.

Bullion sales under the current agreement total 140 tons in the current quota year, with France and the ECB leading sales.

The IMF, which wants to sell 403 tons from its reserves of 3,217 tons, the third-largest holding after the U.S. and Germany, was not a signatory to the agreement. It is believed that China would buy the entire 403 tons if offered by the IMF.

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