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IMF Concludes Gold Sales to Central Banks, Market

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Pure gold grain
Pure gold casting grain is displayed for a photograph at Dvir & Stoler Refining in New York, Jan. 4, 2010. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund said it concluded the planned sale of about 13 percent of its gold reserves to central banks and to market participants.

The institution agreed in September 2009 to dispose of 403.3 metric tons of bullion as part of a plan to shore up its finances and lend at reduced rates to low-income countries. More than half of the gold amount was acquired by the central banks of India, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, according to past announcements.

“The gold sales were conducted under modalities to safeguard against disruption of the gold market,” the IMF said in an e-mailed statement today. “All gold sales were at market prices, including direct sales to official holders,” it said, without disclosing the total sum raised by the institution.

Spokesman William Murray said the amount obtained from the sales will be reflected in coming financial statements. Gold prices have surged 27 percent in 2010, heading for a 10th straight annual gain. The metal touched a record $1,432.50 an ounce on Dec. 7 on the Comex in New York, closing today at $1,388.80.

The IMF received $7.15 billion from its sales of 212 tons to the central banks of India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in 2009 and $403 million from a sale of 10 tons to Bangladesh this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sandrine Rastello in Washington at srastello@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net.

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