Gold intended for numismatic or commemorative coins

Under the terms of Article 37 of the Bank’s Organic Law, the State may use 2.75 % of the gold stocks on 1 January 1987 for issuing coins for numismatic or commemorative purposes. When the State plans to issue numismatic or commemorative coins, the Bank sells the gold needed for this purpose to the Belgian Royal Mint at market price. Also according to Article 37, the capital gain made from such sales accrues to the State.

As at 1 January 1987, gold stocks were at 1 329 032 kg; 2.75 % of these reserves thus corresponds to 36 548 kg. By the end of the 2015 financial year, 27 571 kg of gold had already been sold to the State with a view to issuing numismatic or commemorative coins. So, on 31 December 2015, there were 8 977 kg remaining which the Bank is holding pending a sale to the State.

The annual accounts for the year 2015 include both theoretical and practical comments on this issue:

The notes to the annual accounts begin with a series of paragraphs mentioning the special rules that apply to the Bank. More specifically, point 6.2 (p. 58 of the 2015 Corporate Report) states that: “Pursuant to Article 37 of the Organic Law, capital gains realised on the sale of gold to the Belgian Royal Mint are handed over to the State. Sales of gold to that Institution with a view to issuance by the State of numismatic or commemorative coins may not exceed 2.75 % of the weight of gold shown under the assets of the Bank as at 1 January 1987.”

Notes 1 and 25 of the annual accounts then explain precisely how this principle was applied during the 2015 financial year. Note 1 (p. 61 of the 2015 Corporate Report) states that, during the 2015 accounting year, the Bank sold 24.9 kg of gold, at market price, to the Belgian Royal Mint and that, on 31 December 2015, 9 tonnes of gold were still available for the issue of coins by the State for numismatic or commemorative purposes. Note 25 (p. 74 of the 2015 Corporate Report) reveals that sales of gold to the Belgian Royal Mint in 2015 generated gains of € 0.8 million, which were directly allocated to the State.