European central banks halt gold sales

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Categories: Investment, Reserve asset management

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26 September 2011 marked the end of the second year of the third Central Bank Gold Agreement (CBGA3). European central bank signatories to the agreement sold a gross 1.1 tonnes of gold during the year, the lowest annual sales since the agreement began in September 1999. The current agreement permits signatories to sell 400 tonnes of gold collectively per annum.

European signatories showed a similar unwillingness to sell gold in the prior year of the agreement, selling just 7.1 tonnes of the permitted 400 tonnes ceiling.
Total sales in the latest year of the agreement reached 53.3 tonnes, due to the additional 52.2 tonnes of gold sold by the IMF as part of its limited gold sales programmes. The IMF completed its gold sales programme in December 2010.

Natalie Dempster, Director of Government Affairs said:

“European central banks’ appetite for gold sales has dissipated since the onset of the financial crisis.  During periods of such intense economic and financial market turbulence gold adds much needed stability to a central bank’s reserves. This is also evident from the behaviour of emerging market central banks over the past two years who have accumulated significant additional volumes of gold. As a whole, central banks are now large net buyers of gold having re-evaluated their reserve asset management policies and we expect them to remain so for the foreseeable future”.

For further information on the Central Bank Gold Agreement please click here.