April 2, 2009 / 12:21 PM / 10 years ago

G20 discussing additional gold sales

LONDON (Reuters) - Discussion at a summit of G20 world leaders about selling International Monetary Fund gold to raise extra funds refers to sales over and above existing plans, a minister said on Thursday.

“What’s referred to here is in addition to what has been previously,” Treasury minister Stephen Timms told reporters at the summit.

A G20 source said earlier there was a reference in the summit communique to IMF gold sales but “the language had not been firmed up” and it was unclear whether it would be separate from the 400 tonnes of gold the IMF committed to sell last year as part of a broader restructuring of its income.

Timms said he also expected a significant announcement on IMF Special Drawing Rights.

A Russian news agency report said on Wednesday G20 leaders might approve $373 billion worth of IMF SDRs for its member countries. The move could be similar to a central bank printing money to increase the amount of cash flowing through an economy. “The communique will be seen to make announcements about ... SDRs, potentially quite a significant announcement,” Timms said. “I certainly expect it to be significant, more than doubling.”

Reporting by Matt Falloon, editing by Mike Peacock

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