Britain's Labour government has been roundly abused by some African governments for announcing the sale of 250 tons of unwanted gold. Other governments, especially Russia's, have been quietly selling gold for years, driving its world price down from over US$385 per troy ounce in 1994 to $255 after the UK announcement (and today down at $252.90), made just in time to forestall far larger sales and a sharper price fall. Switzerland proposes selling half its 2,600 tn. The International Monetary Fund's sale of ten per cent of its total 3,200 tn. was announced at June's Cologne G7 summit but must be approved by the IMF Board in September. The Fund would use the money raised to improve its stingy Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative.
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