Tuesday, March 2, 2010

IMF selling small portion of gold reserves

Gold has long played a crucial role in international financial markets and it continues to do so - as evidenced by a recent announcement from the International Monetary Fund that it will be taking another step forward in its plan to sell 403.3 metric tons of the precious metal.

The gold sale was approved by the IMF's executive board last September, and a previous sale saw 212 metric tons sent to the Reserve Bank of India, the Bank of Mauritius and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, noted the organization in a recent announcement.

The IMF still has 191.3 metric tons left to sell in its program, but is doing so gradually in an effort to avoid any potential disruption to world gold prices.

Still, this is just a small part of the IMF's overall gold holdings. In another announcement, the global financial body noted that as of the end of January, it held about 3,005 metric tons of gold reserves, with an estimated value as of February 1 of about $105 billion.

In the past, according to the IMF, it has sold gold to meet various financial priorities, including replenishing its currency holdings and to generate funds for its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.