The Swiss National Bank made a first quarter loss of SFr1.7 billion ($1.87 billion) in 2012, but played down the long-term significance of the figures.
“The SNB result depends largely on developments in the gold, foreign exchange and capital markets. Consequently, strong fluctuations are normal, and only provisional conclusions are possible as regards the annual result,” it said in a statement on its website announcing the results on Monday.
Its losses on foreign currency positions amounted to SFr2.6 billion, while gold holdings gained SFr0.8 billion, and there was a slight net gain of SFr14 million on Swiss franc positions, it said.
It explained the foreign currency results as largely due to exchange rate losses as the franc appreciated against the major investment currencies - the dollar, yen and euro. These losses amounted to SFr6.4 billion and were only partly offset by price gains and interest income.
In the same period last year the bank made a profit of SFr1.86 billion.
swissinfo.ch and agencies