Bank of France boss supports gold reserves sale

14th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - Bank of France governor Christian Noyer said in an interview published Wednesday he was open to selling some of the country's gold but the proceeds would not go directly to the state.

PARIS, April 14 (AFP) - Bank of France governor Christian Noyer said in an interview published Wednesday he was open to selling some of the country's gold but the proceeds would not go directly to the state.

"Sell gold, yes, but... there is no question of selling it to give the money obtained directly to the government," he told French daily Le Parisien.

Proceeds from the sale could be invested, with the accrued interest generating revenue for the Bank of France, which then could be paid as dividends to the state as the shareholder of the central bank, Noyer explained.

He said a decision on the matter would be taken by the autumn.

In late March, however, Noyer had dismissed speculation that gold reserves might be sold, describing it as "a debate that does not exist".

On Tuesday the French finance ministry said it was only considering the option of using some of the country's gold for future investments or to reduce debt, after press reports said talks on the matter could begin as soon as this week with the Bank of France.

Financial daily Les Echoes said Tuesday that ministry and bank officials would hold talks with a view to selling up to 500 tonnes of the country's holdings of gold between 2004 and 2009, worth around EUR 5 billion (USD 5.9 billion) at current prices.

© AFP

                                                    Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article