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HomeEconomyDuring the Troika period, the Bank of Portugal's gold reserves were crucial.

During the Troika period, the Bank of Portugal's gold reserves were crucial.

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Economy

Exclusive interview with SIC

Portugal has the 13th largest gold reserves in the world and the 6th largest in Western Europe. There are 383 tonnes worth more than €26 billion. In an exclusive interview with SIC, Helder Rosalino, director of the Bank of Portugal, revealed that the national reserve was crucial during the financial rescue in 2011.

The Bank of Portugal holds 383 tons of gold worth more than €26 billion. Almost half is in Carregado, the other half – 200 tons – in London. The gold is held by the Bank of Portugal, but the reserves have already doubled.

“Gold is a core asset for central banks,” Helder Rosalino explained to SIC. “In fact, central banks hold a fifth of the world’s reserves. Central banks have big reserves, they are the gold reserves of any country.”

The value of gold is subject to negotiation in financial markets, and therefore, tends to appreciate when there is a crisis This was crucial in 2011, when Portugal was under bailout from the Troika.

“For a creditor who is essentially lending money to a country, knowing that this country has a gold reserve of some importance gives confidence and provides stability to the creditor. For example, in the 2011-2014 Troika programme, international creditors had a very direct relationship with the Bank of Portugal, and of course, what was offered to them regarding our gold reserves was important. It is not a direct guarantee, but there is confidence given to the international operators with whom countries interact.”

Portugal had about four tons at the Federal Reserve Bank of North America in New York. It transferred the gold to the Bank of France, but from the British capital the Bank of Portugal made money from the gold.

“What we do with gold is temporary loans without losing ownership of the gold, so that whoever borrows that gold from us for a period of time can fill their investment portfolios with that asset and what we do is get income from that loan. And of course,” explained Helder Rosalino, “when we make that loan, we get a cash value for the gold that is temporarily transferred, but it never leaves our gold investment facilities.”

Just last year, Banco de Portugal received more than 70 million euros With the profitability of gold. In the last seven years there have been more than 250 million.

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The country reached its maximum reserves in 1974, at over 800 tons. The accumulation of gold is largely due to the history of Portuguese colonization of Brazil and commercial exchanges during the modern period.

At the beginning of this century, the country had nearly 600 tons of gold. The then governor of the Bank of Portugal, Vitor Constancio, I decided to sell part of my gold reserve..

“Between 2002 and 2006, we sold about 225 tons of gold. It was a logical decision at the time, given the known assumptions and in the context we were living. No one expected the crises that followed, the financial crisis, the sovereign debt crisis. The pandemic crisis and all these geopolitical turmoils that we know about, and the question is, if this gold had remained in the reserves of the Bank of Portugal, it would have a higher value today.

Banco de Portugal confirmed to SIC that You do not intend to sell or buy more gold.The price is quoted in dollars per ounce. Each ounce weighs about 31 grams. 23 years ago, an ounce of gold cost $270. In May of this year, the Jaguar broke the record by about $2,500.

The gold rush was sparked by the wars in Ukraine and Gaza. According to the World Gold Council, many central banks decided to buy the metal to reduce their exposure to the US currency. China is one example, which bought hundreds of tons of gold.

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