Norges Bank has sold some gold reserves, but is keeping the gold coins transported to England in 1940
Norges Bank has sold 16 tonnes of gold bars in January and is planning to sell the remainder of the Central Bank's holdings of gold bars at a later time. Excluded from the sale are seven gold bars that have been used for exhibition purposes and a large number of gold coins that were transported to England when Norway was attacked in 1940. Norges Bank and the University of Oslo are discussing whether the gold coins can be put on public exhibition.
The background to the sale is that gold only accounted for just over one per cent of the Bank's international reserves, and thus contributed little towards diversifying the risk associated with the reserves. The return on gold has historically been low.
Revenues from the sale have amounted to about NOK 1½ billion, which has been invested as part of Norges Bank's foreign exchange reserves.
At end-2003, Norges Bank's gold reserves consisted of about 37 tonnes of gold, made up of 3½ tonnes of coins and 33½ tonnes of gold bars.