The International Monetary Fund, which set out a year ago to sell about 13 percent of its gold reserves, said today that the central bank of Bangladesh bought 10 metric tons of the precious metal for about $403 million.
The transaction, announced today in an e-mailed statement, brings the total of IMF gold sales to central banks to 222 tons. Last year India acquired 200 tons of the precious metal, with Sri Lanka buying 10 tons and Mauritius purchasing 2 tons.
The lender’s executive board on Sept. 18 last year approved the sale of 403.3 tons of bullion as part of a plan to shore up its finances and lend at reduced rates to low-income countries. After selling only to central banks, it expanded sales to the open market in February.
The move to markets “does not preclude further off-market gold sales directly to interested central banks or other official holders,” the IMF said today in the statement. “Such sales reduce the amount of gold to be sold on the market, with a reduction of 10 metric tons in the case of this sale to the Bangladesh Bank.”
As of the end of July, the IMF had sold 88.3 metric tons of gold through on-market sales, it said today.
Gold futures for December delivery fell $6.60, or 0.5 percent, to settle today at $1,250.90 an ounce at 1:50 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Aug. 20. The metal closed at a record high of $1,259.30 on Sept. 7.