Germany wants some of its gold back: report

16th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Germany's central bank wants to retrieve much of the gold it has stored in Britain, France, and the United States to meet requirements set out by its national auditors, the financial daily Handelsblatt reported Tuesday.

The Federal Court of Auditors has called for a thorough audit of its gold stocks in the wake of complaints last year from eurosceptics inside Germany.

The critics object to so much of it being held abroad and have called for it to be repatriated.

According to Handelsblatt, 45 percent of Germany's gold is deposited with the US Federal Reserve, 13 percent with the Bank of England and 11 percent with the bank of France. The remaining 31 percent held at the Bundesbank's headquarters in Frankfurt.

The reason so much is spread in foreign central banks goes back to the Cold War, when the gold was shipped abroad for safe keeping, the newspaper said.

All the gold stored in France, which like Germany belongs to the eurozone, is to be brought back, the paper reported.

Some of the stock in Britain and the United States will remain there for foreign exchange purposes in accordance with a court recommendation, Handelsblatt added.

While the Bundesbank declined to comment on the report, it has scheduled a press conference on the subject for early Wednesday.

The Bundesbank holds the world's second biggest gold reserves, after the United States, with 3.396 tonnes at the end of 2011, for a value of 133 billion euros ($177 billion) according to court records.

© 2013 AFP

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