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Belgian gold reserves to stay put, for now
The gold reserves belonging to the Belgian state will not be repatriated, as reports suggested earlier this week, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) announced.
Many European countries store their national gold reserves in foreign banks, but recently more and more countries are choosing to repatriate their gold assets, provoked in part by the consequences of the economic crisis.
Belgium has a total gold reserve of 227 tons, which is stored at the Bank of England and to a lesser extent at the Bank of Canada and the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. Due to uncertain economic situations in recent months, a number of countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, have decided to repatriate some of their gold stocks.
Belgian federal finance minister Johan van Overtveldt earlier this week reported to the parliamentary committee that the NBB was considering a repatriation of the stocks. The NBB, however, does not yet see a reason to bring back the gold, other than the high cost of storing the stocks abroad, a fee of about €250,000 per year.