Germany repatriates all the gold it planned to recover -- or was going to get


Germany Repatriates Gold Reserves Ahead of Schedule

From Deutsche Welle, Bonn, Germany
Wednesday, August 23,2 017

Germany's central bank has completed an initiative to bring half of the country's gold reserves home three years ahead of schedule, as it repatriated all of its gold kept in Paris and a third of its reserves in the US.

The Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said today that half of Germany's 3,378 tons of gold had been brought home from New York, London, and Paris, where it had been stashed for many decades to avoid it falling into the hands of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In a recent shipment, some 374 tones of the metal, 11 percent of the German stock, left the vaults at the Bank of France, while 300 tones had been removed from the Federal Reserve in New York to the Bundesbank vaults in Frankfurt, board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told journalists.

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"We've checked every ingot against authenticity, fineness, and weight. We have nothing to complain about," Thiele said, adding that the secret shipments were finished three years ahead of schedule and at a cost of some 7.7 million euros ($9.1 million). Under the gold repatriation plan announced in 2013, Germany originally envisaged bringing home half of its reserves by 2020.

Germany holds the world's second-largest gold reserves after the United States, at 3,378 tons or 270,000 ingots of around 12 kilograms each. The amount has a market value of around 120 billion euros. Some 1,710 tons -- or 50.6 percent -- are now kept in Frankfurt, while 1,236 tons remain in New York and 432 in London.

New York was a favored location as home of the world's most vital currency, the U.S. dollar, while London's deep gold market could allow the metal to be quickly converted into cash in an emergency.

The share of Germany's cache in France was built up during the decades of the country's post-World War II economic miracle, when the Bundesbank converted the country's trade surpluses with its neighbor into gold stored in the Parisian vaults of the Banque de France.

But in the wake of the U.S. subprime crisis and the emergence of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012, eurosceptic voices in Germany began pressing for an audit of the precious metal kept abroad.

They had suspected the gold might have been tampered with, lent out, or sold off. The Bundesbank responded to the calls for greater transparency by agreeing to bring a larger share home. Today the central bank said that further repatriations were not planned.

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