SNB Expects 2012 Profit on Investments, Gold Price

The Swiss National Bank expects a 2012 full-year profit of about 6 billion francs ($6.4 billion) as the central bank benefited from foreign currency investments and a rising gold price.

Foreign-currency holdings contributed 4.7 billion francs, and valuation gains on its gold holdings added 1.4 billion francs, the Zurich-based SNB said in a statement today, citing an initial estimate. While the SNB said that consolidated profit would be higher because of a contribution from the so-called stabilization fund, that still compares to consolidated profit of 13.5 billion francs in 2011. The bank will distribute 1 billion francs to cantons and the Swiss federation.

The SNB amassed record foreign-currency reserves as it defends a franc cap introduced in September 2011 to ward off investors seeking a haven from Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis. Holdings stood at 427.2 billion francs at the end of December, up 68 percent from 254.2 billion francs a year earlier.

The SNB is a joint-stock company in which public shareholders including cantons and regional banks have a stake of about 55 percent. Private individuals hold the remainder.

The franc was little changed after the announcement, trading at 1.2386 against the euro at 7:51 a.m. in Zurich. Against the dollar, it traded at 93.13 centimes.

The SNB said it will publish the detailed full-year report with definitive figures on March 7.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Zurich at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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