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Gold and Foreign Exchange Reserves

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tonnes of gold have been sold from UK reserves in each year since May 1997; what revenue was received from sales in each year; and if he will estimate the revenue which each sale would have generated at current gold prices. (244303)

395 tonnes of gold have been sold since 1997: 75 tonnes in 1999; 150 tonnes in 2000; 130 tonnes in 2001; and 40 tonnes in 2002. The date of, the amount of gold sold and the allotment price at each of the 17 gold auctions is set out in the following table.

The total proceeds from the sales were around US$3.5 billion. At the morning fix on 15 December 2008 the total value of this gold was US$10.5 billion. The gold sales between July 1999 and March 2002 reflected a prudent decision to reduce over-exposure to a single asset in the net reserves portfolio.

Date

Amount sold (ounces)

Allotment price ($/ounce)

6 July 1999

804,000

261.20

21 September 1999

804,000

255.75

29 November 1999

804,000

293.50

25 January 2000

804,400

289.50

21 March 2000

804,400

285.25

23 May 2000

803,600

275.25

12 July 2000

804,000

279.75

19 September 2000

803,600

270.60

7 November 2000

803,600

264.30

23 January 2001

803,600

268.00

14 March 2001

803,600

266.00

15 May 2001

644,400

268.00

11 July 2001

643,600

267.25

12 September 2001

644,400

280.00

27 November 2001

644,400

273.50

16 January 2002

643,600

283.50

5 March 2002

644,400

296.50

Total sold/average price

12,707,600

274.95