European central banks made a fourth gold agreement, without a cap on sales for the first time.
The European Central Bank and 20 others said in announcing the fourth agreement that they currently don’t have any plans to dispose of “significant” amounts of gold, without giving a limit. Banks agreed to cap sales at 400 metric tons of the metal a year through September 2014, and no more than 500 tons a year in the pact that expired in September 2009.
Sales in the most recent year through Feb. 3 were 3.5 tons, well below the 400-ton annual total, according to the World Gold Council. Disposals were below 100 tons a year since 2011 and less than 200 tons a year since 2009, it said.
“If you don’t have an intention to sell, why would you need a quota,” said Joni Teves, an analyst at UBS AG in London. “The lack of an explicit quota introduces some uncertainty, but given the trend in central bank activity in recent years, it only becomes more of an issue if this trend shifts. And at this point, I don’t see that happening any time soon.”
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