March 21, 2012 / 2:15 PM / 7 years ago

UK Treasury says no plans to add to gold holdings

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - The UK Treasury said on Wednesday there were no plans to add to Britain’s gold reserves, after finance minister George Osborne said in a presentation of the budget that he would take the opportunity to rebuild the country’s reserves.

“What the Chancellor (finance minister) is talking about here is rebuilding the official reserves, so it’s not gold-specific. It’s just over financing the deficit this year by 6 billion pounds ($9.51 billion) in 2012-13 to build up the official reserves,” a Treasury spokesman said.

Osborne said in presenting the country’s budget for fiscal 2012-2013: “We are also taking the opportunity to rebuild Britain’s reserves, which had fallen to historically low levels. I can confirm our gold holdings have risen in value to 11 billion pounds.”

When asked if the Treasury had plans to increase the amount of gold Britain holds, currently 9.975 million ounces, valued at 11 billion pounds ($17.44 billion), the spokesman said: “There aren’t.”

Britain famously sold more than half of its gold reserves in 1999, shortly before bullion started a blistering rally that took prices to a record high of $1,920.30 an ounce in September 2011 from below $300 an ounce at that time.

The gold price, which has risen by around 6 percent this year, was up 0.1 percent on the day at $1,652.90 an ounce by 1402 GMT.

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