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Swiss National Bank continues gold sales

The Swiss National Bank sold almost eight tonnes of gold in the first ten days of August, bringing total sales for the past three months to 77 tonnes, according to figures published on Friday.

The Bank said its gold reserves fell by SFr119.3 million ($69.8 million) to SFr37.99 billion ($22.2 billion) in the ten-day period ending August 10.

The National Bank began selling gold in May when Switzerland’s new currency and payment law came into force.

The government plans to hold on to 1,300 tonnes of gold – half of the 2,600 tonnes of reserves – to support the Swiss franc, with the other 1,300 tonnes surplus to requirements.

In June the government opened a consultation procedure on possible uses for 800 tonnes of the surplus – the remaining 500 tonnes has been earmarked for the planned Solidarity Foundation. Subject to acceptance by voters in a referendum, the Foundation would finance charitable projects at home and abroad.

Possible uses for the sales from the 800 tonnes include financing a programme of information technology training, supporting the old age pension scheme, and paying off part of the national debt.

The central bank has pledged to sell small amounts at regular intervals to avoid causing sharp price movements in the market.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR