Robert Key: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tonnes of gold have been sold from UK reserves in each year since May 1997; what revenue was received from sales in each year; and if he will estimate the revenue which each sale would have generated at current gold prices. 
Ian Pearson: 395 tonnes of gold have been sold since 1997: 75 tonnes in 1999; 150 tonnes in 2000; 130 tonnes in 2001; and 40 tonnes in 2002. The date of, the amount of gold sold and the allotment price at each of the 17 gold auctions is set out in the following table. (see Hansard 18 Dec 2008 : Column 932W). The total proceeds from the sales were around US$3.5 billion. At the morning fix on 15 December 2008 the total value of this gold was US$10.5 billion. The gold sales between July 1999 and March 2002 reflected a prudent decision to reduce over-exposure to a single asset in the net reserves portfolio.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Government Admits It Blew $7 Billion on Gold Sale
The Government admitted in a parliamentary answer just before Christmas that had it not sold much of Britain's gold reserves during its first five years in office, the public finances would be $7 billion better off. That's around 2p off income tax. Even more astonishing is the news that the sale of gold reserves at the bottom of the market was justified as "a prudent decision to reduce over-exposure to a single asset in the net reserves portfolio." I'd love to know what was an imprudent decision. Possibly one where you go ahead with a sale of reserves ignoring warnings of the consequences...