What do the National Bank's gold and foreign exchange reserves represent and what purpose do they serve?

The foreign exchange reserves shown on the National Bank’s balance sheet are Belgium’s official foreign exchange reserves which are held and managed by the National Bank. They comprise gold, gold claims and claims on the IMF, and foreign currencies.

Article 141 §2 of the law of 2 August 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and on financial services, inserting an Article 9 bis in the Organic Law of 22 February 1998, specified that these assets managed by the National Bank constitute assets allocated to the tasks and operations within the domain of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the other tasks of public interest entrusted to the National Bank by the State.

The National Bank’s foreign exchange reserves are managed on the basis of the rules of prudent management, taking account of liquidity, security and yield considerations.