Kitco News) - European central banks sold a gross 1.1 metric tons under the third Central Bank Gold Agreement, the lowest annual sales since the agreement began in September 1999, the World Gold Council said Tuesday.
The current agreement allows European central bank signatories to sell 400 tons of gold collectively per year. This is the third CBGA agreement, which is in its second year. Monday marked the end of the second year.
“European central banks’ appetite for gold sales has dissipated since the onset of the financial crisis. During periods of such intense economic and financial market turbulence gold adds much needed stability to a central bank’s reserves,” said Natalie Dempster, director of government affairs for the World Gold Council.
Last year there was a similar disinterest to sell, with European signatories selling just 7.1 tons of the 400 tons allowed.
Central banks in many countries, particularly in emerging markets, have been gold adding to their reserves over the past two years, Dempster said.
“As a whole, central banks are now large net buyers of gold having re-evaluated their reserve asset management policies and we expect them to remain so for the foreseeable future,” she said.
The CBGA started in 1999 and in the first five years, central banks were sellers of the full amount, set at 400 tons at the time. Between 2005-2009, a second CBGA was enacted and the ceiling limit was lifted to 500 tons, but signatories had undersold the limit. The limit was lowered back to 400 tons in the current agreement, which runs through September 2014.
For more information see the WGC website:
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