Summary of a speech delivered by the President of the Bank Council
Eduard Belser, President of the Bank Council
Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Swiss National Bank, 20 April 2001, 20.04.2001
Complete text in German: "Eröffnungsansprache an der Generalversammlung"
Complete text in French: "Allocution d'ouverture à l'Assemblée générale des actionnaires"
The President of the Bank Council of the Swiss National Bank, Eduard Belser, comments the central bank's annual financial statements for 2000 at the Annual General Meeting. The revaluation of the gold holdings at market value effected on 1 May 2000 has led to a precipitous expansion of the National Bank's balance sheet by almost Sfr 28 billion and to an extraordinarily high aggregate income. At the same point in time, the National Bank began with the sale of the gold reserves no longer required for monetary policy purposes. The proceeds - Sfr 2.6 billion by the end of 2000 - were invested, within the scope provided by the National Bank Law, exclusively with Swiss and foreign debtors with an excellent credit rating. Provisions were set aside for the assignment of free assets, thus taking into account the strong likelihood that the National Bank will in due course assign the approximately 1300 tonnes of gold, or the proceeds from their sale respectively, to other public purposes.