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National Bank back in black

Following a loss of SFr4.7 billion ($4.38 billion) in 2008, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) closed 2009 with a profit of SFr10 billion.

The bank said on Thursday that the positive result was mainly due to the increased value of its gold holdings and income from interest on foreign currency.

Switzerland’s central bank said the valuation gains on its gold reserves amounted to SFr7.3 billion.

In the course of 2009, the price of gold rose to SFr38,958 per kilogram and closed at
SFr 36,687. At the end of 2008, the price was SFr29,640.

SNB currently holds 1,040 tonnes of gold.

Less rosy was the result from the bank’s “Stabilisation Fund”, which was set up in 2008 to take over illiquid assets from bank UBS.

At the end of 2009, the stabilisation fund owned assets valued at $20 billion. These
took the form of securities, loans and real estate.

The fund alone recorded a total loss of $2,624 million.

But the SNB added that “from the second quarter of 2009, the market situation for the stabilisation fund’s investments improved”. and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR