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Venezuela to Leave 15 Tons of its Gold Reserves in Foreign Banks

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuela will leave 15 tons of gold reserves in banks outside the country, Central Bank president Nelson Merentes said today.

Venezuela held about 211 tons of its gold in Europe, Canada and Switzerland before it started repatriating the reserves last year, Merentes said on national radio.

“It wasn’t necessary to have that much gold abroad for financial transactions,” Merentes said. “We’re going to keep bringing it back. Soon we will have the majority of our reserves in the Central Bank vault.”

President Hugo Chavez ordered the Central Bank to repatriate $11 billion of gold in August as a safeguard against instability in financial markets. The country received the first shipment of repatriated gold on Nov. 25.

The country has a total of 365 tons of gold reserves, Merentes said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net; Corina Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Carlos Caminada at ccaminada1@bloomberg.net

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