News Brief: IMF Completes Off-Market Gold Sales

April 7, 2000

On December 8, 1999, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Executive Board adopted a decision authorizing off-market gold sales by the IMF of up to 14 million troy ounces, in order to generate the equivalent of SDR 2.226 billion (about US$3 billion) to help finance the IMF's contribution to debt relief and financial support for the world's poorest nations (see News Brief No. 99/62 and Press Release No. 99/57).

IMF Treasurer Eduard Brau announced today that this target was accomplished through seven off-market transactions conducted with Brazil and Mexico over the period December 14, 1999 through April 5, 2000. A total of 12.944 million troy ounces of gold, equivalent to SDR 2.680 billion, were sold and accepted back immediately at the same price, in settlement of these members' obligations to the IMF. Thus, the gold sold by the IMF did not enter the market.

In accordance with the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF retained the book value of the gold, equivalent to SDR 35 (about US$47) per troy ounce, on its own account. The remainder of the proceeds, equivalent to SDR 2.226 billion were invested to generate income for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

"We appreciate the cooperation of the Brazilian and Mexican authorities in the execution of these transactions," Mr. Brau stated, "which represent a major step toward funding the IMF's contribution to the HIPC Initiative."


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