The Cypriot government plans to sell part of its gold reserves within the next months, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said

Cyprus Central Bank Must Approve Gold Sale, Finance Chief Says

The Cypriot government plans to sell part of its gold reserves within the next months, a decision that needs to be approved by the country’s central bank, Finance Minister Haris Georgiadessaid.

“The exact details of it will be formulated in due course primarily by the board of the central bank,” Georgiades, 41, told Bloomberg TV’s Ryan Chilcote in an interview in Nicosia. “Obviously it’s a big decision.”

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is trying to unlock 10 billion euros ($13.2 billion) of loans from the euro area and the International Monetary Fund. To do so, he must come up with a further 11 billion euros through measures including a tax on bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros at the country’s two biggest banks and the sale of assets and gold.

An April 9 debt assessment by the European Commission said Cyprus had committed to selling about 400 million euros of “excess” gold reserves, prompting gold futures to fall the most in five months. In response to the disclosure, the Central Bank of Cyprus said it wasn’t considering a sale.Central bank chief Panicos Demetriades said last week that the Cypriot government didn’t have the right to sell gold without his consent. He also signalled the administration hadn’t involved him in the plan.

The Cypriot central bank manages the country’s gold stock, which amounts to 13.9 metric tons, according to the World Gold Council.

Independence

Georgiades said the government fully respects the independence of the central bank and insisted on effective cooperation. The country needs to look into how it got into this difficult situation and “obviously some decisions of the central bank will be examined” by an independent commission, he said.

Gold futures fell to the lowest since January 2011 on April 16 on increased investor concern that European governments may have to follow Cyprus in selling reserves, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report yesterday.

“I’m not really sure if the series of events is exactly matching with the recent movements in the price of gold, but I suspect maybe it was a contributing factor,” Georgiades said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at nweeks2@bloomberg.net; Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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