Gold sales

Question discussed at the 2006 general meeting

The National Bank of Belgium sold 30 tonnes of gold during the months of July and August 2005. These sales took place within the framework of the gold agreement entered into on 8 March 2004 between 15 European central banks, including the National Bank of Belgium (the Central Bank Gold Agreement).  The decision to sell part of the gold stocks is the outcome of the regular process of strategic deliberations on the part of the Board of Directors in respect of the medium and long-term preferences as regards balancing risk against the yield from managed portfolios (Annual Report, page 16, chapter 1.3.1: Management of the foreign exchange reserves; basic principles). In concrete terms, the reduction of gold assets has enabled the return on the Bank’s assets to increase.

As provided for in Article 30 of the Bank’s Organic Law, the capital gains realised by the Bank from these gold sales shall be entered in a special unavailable reserve account and the net income from the assets which form the counterpart thereto shall be allocated to the State. The terms and conditions for application of these provisions are governed by an agreement made between the State and the Bank on 30 June 2005 and published in the Moniteur belge/Belgisch Staatsblad of 5 August 2005.