International Monetary Fund Completes Gold Sale

Los Angeles – Gold bullion prices closed higher at $1,381.80 an ounce on Friday bringing gold’s year-to-date gain to over 26 percent for 2010. Silver prices closed slightly lower at $29.22 an ounce for a 73 percent year-to-date gain and pushing the price of silver to its best year since 1980, when it reached an all-time high above $50 an ounce.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported on Tuesday that it had concluded the sale of 403.3 tons of Gold bullion under a program that was designed to help boost its lending resources and approved by the Executive Board in September 2009. At the time of the programs approval, the IMF held 3,217 tons (103.4 million oz.) of gold bullion, a level that had remained constant for many years.

In the fall of 2009, the IMF announced that it would sell one eighth of its bullion holdings, a maximum of 12,965,649 fine troy ounces (403.3 tons) based upon a new income model that was agreed upon in April 2008. The IMF subsequently announced the sale of 200 tons of gold to India, 10 tons to Sri Lanka, 10 tons of gold was also sold to the Central Bank of Bangladesh in September 2010 and 2 tons was sold to the Bank of Mauritius. All gold sales were conducted in stages at prevailing market prices to prevent volatility. There are presently no reports on who purchased the remaining 181.3 tons of gold bullion. Speculation as to the buyer of the remaining gold points to China but there has been no confirmation.

The Jornal de Negocios business daily reported on Wednesday that China is ready to buy 4 billion euros to 5 billion euros ($5.3 billion to $6.6 billion) of Portuguese sovereign debt to help the country ward off pressure in debt markets.

Without citing any sources the newspaper said that a deal was reached between the two governments that will lead to China purchasing Portuguese debt in auctions or in the secondary markets during the first quarter of 2011. China was recently reported to be buying Spanish government bonds and has promised to buy Greek bonds when they go on sale.

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