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Balance sheet SNB reports CHF23 billion loss

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is located on Federal Square in the centre of Bern

(Keystone)

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) says it expects to report a loss of CHF23 billion ($23.06 billion) for the 2015 financial year, mainly due to currency fluctuations. But it still intends to distribute CHF1 billion to the federal and cantonal authorities thanks to healthy cash reserves.

The SNB said in a statement on Friday that according to provisional calculations it would report a loss of CHF23 billion, most of which was due to foreign currency positions amounting to CHF20 billion. A total of CHF4 billion was lost on gold holdings.

The Swiss franc surged last year after the SNB unexpectedly dropped a CHF1.20 cap versus the euro on January 15, 2015. It took heavy losses on its euro holdings, which make up the majority of its CHF634 billion balance sheet.

But the central bank said despite the annual loss, the resulting balance sheet profit would still allow a dividend payment of CHF15 per share, as well as the distribution of CHF1 billion to the federal authorities and the cantons.

The NZZ newspaper said the financial situation "could have been worse", as last July the bank was predicting a CHF 50.1 billion loss due to high currency losses.  NZZ said money had been saved partly thanks to a stronger dollar.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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