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Gold price boosts bank profits

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) posted a profit of SFr8 billion ($7.36 billion) in 2007, a 60 per cent increase over 2006.

The bank attributed the positive results to the sale of gold reserves, which generated SFr6.4 billion. The price of gold has more than doubled since the beginning of 2005.

Foreign currencies also contributed to the bank’s profits, although it said it had lost SFr700 million due to the weak dollar.

The central bank will distribute SFr2.5 billion to the national and cantonal governments.

The SNB also announced it was reducing its gold reserves from 1,145 tonnes at the end of December to just over 1,000 tonnes by September 2009, allowing it to boost investment in foreign currencies.

Detailed results will be presented at the bank’s annual meeting in April.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR