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Gold Tumbles As IMF Reaffirms Plan To Sell 191.3 Metric Tons Of Gold Over Time in Phased “On-Market” Gold Sales

Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The IMF just announced it would resume selling the balance of its preapproved for sale gold, of which 191.3 tons remains. The sales would be in a phased manner over time to avoid disrupting the gold markets. This is not major news as this is inline with the IMF’s September 2009 announcement to sell 403.3 metric tons of gold. As is well known the IMF has already sold 212 metric tons. Nonetheless, gold is selling off after hours. As gold was bought via dollar shorts, the current unwind is sending the dollar proportionately higher.

From Dow Jones:

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday it will soon begin selling to the market the remaining 191.3 metric tons of gold  it has slated for release, though the sales will be conducted in phases to avoid disrupting markets.

The sale of gold, currently worth nearly $6.9 billion, will begin “shortly,” the fund said in a brief statement.

“In accordance with the priority of avoiding disruption of the gold market, the on-market sales will be conducted in a phased manner over time,” the IMF said.

The IMF noted that central banks in Europe have said they can accommodate the fund’s gold as part of their scheduled sales in the Central Bank Gold Agreement.

The IMF board approved sales of 403.3 metric tons of gold in September to create a more stable income model and boost support for low-income countries.  About 212 metric tons have already been sold off-market to central banks of India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

The IMF didn’t rule out further off-market sales, which would reduce the amount sold to the market.

Full press release text:

IMF to Begin On-Market Sales of Gold

Press Release No. 10/44
February 17, 2010The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today announced that it will shortly initiate the on-market phase of its gold sales program. This is the second phase of the total sale of 403.3 metric tons approved by the Executive Board in September 2009 (see Press Release No. 09/310). The first phase was set aside exclusively for off-market sales to official holders. A total of 212 metric tons was sold during this phase, comprising sales to the Reserve Bank of India see Press Release No. 09/381), the Bank of Mauritius (see Press Release No. 09/413), and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (see Press Release No. 09/431).

The total amount remaining to be sold is 191.3 metric tons. In accordance with the priority of avoiding disruption of the gold market, the on-market sales will be conducted in a phased manner over time. This follows the approach adopted successfully by the central banks participating in the Central Bank Gold Agreement. Participants in the agreement have noted that the Fund’s sales can be accommodated under the agreed ceilings of 400 tons annually and 2,000 tons in total during the five years starting on September 27, 2009. The initiation of on-market sales does not preclude further off-market gold sales directly to interested central banks or other official holders. Such sales would reduce the amount of gold to be sold on the market.

The IMF will continue to provide regular updates on progress with the gold sales through its normal reporting channels.

Useful links:

Factsheet: Gold in the IMF:
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/gold.htm

IMF Survey: Board Backs Plan to Adopt New Income Model for IMF:
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2008/NEW040708A.htm

Factsheet: IMF Support for Low Income Countries:
http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/poor.htm

Central Bank Gold Agreement–Joint Statement on Gold:
http://www.ecb.int/press/pr/date/2009/html/pr090807.en.html

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