Currency losses hit Swiss National Bank

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has reported a loss of SFr3.36 billion ($3.24 billion) in the first half of 2008.

This content was published on July 25, 2008 - 09:29

Switzerland's central bank attributed the result to exchange rate losses incurred on foreign currency investments in the first quarter of this year.

The loss is a setback for the SNB, which during the same period in 2007 had recorded a positive result of SFr2.23 billion on a relatively weaker Swiss franc.

The SNB said it had lost SFr3.63 billion on foreign currency investments up to June 30, compared with a profit of SFr1.36 billion compared with the same period a year ago.

Since the beginning of 2008, the dollar and the pound sterling have lost ten per cent against the Swiss franc while the euro and the Japanese yen have dropped three per cent and five per cent respectively, the bank said.

The SNB noted that while the price of gold fluctuated considerably between January and June, it increased only slightly overall, contributing SFr162 million to the bank's bottom line, compared with SFr884 million a year ago.

The central bank in June 2007 announced it would sell 250 tonnes of gold by the end of September 2009. It has yet to sell 37 tonnes as part of that programme.

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