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Germany to move gold reserves back home

Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM   |   Comments

FRANKFURT, Germany, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- How Germany plans to move 700 tons of gold from New York and Paris to Frankfurt is none of your business, a bank spokesman said.

"For security reasons we can't discuss that, partly to protect the gold, partly to protect the staff that will be carrying out the transfer," said Moritz August Raasch, spokesman for the Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany.

Germany plans to move an eyebrow-raising $36 billion worth of gold from New York (300 tons) and Paris (another 374 tons) to Frankfurt over the next eight years, The Detroit Free Press reported Monday.

It was kept out of the country to wait out the Cold War years in safety, the newspaper said.

"But, of course, since we transport large sums of money around Germany every day, we've got a certain amount of experience with this," Raasch said.

"Of course, the transports are insured," he added.

During the Cold War, Germany feared its gold reserves would be taken by Russia, if it were ever invaded. The gold was also kept in New York, Paris and London to be close to the trading markets.

In 2012, the German Federal Auditors' Office was critical of Bundesbank for failing oversee its gold reserves and suggested it make periodic trips to inspect its holdings.

In response, the bank said, "There is no doubt about the integrity of the foreign storage sites." But there was a political cry for Germany to bring its gold back home.

Bundesbank has already brought home the gold it stored in London, moving 850 tons between 1998 and 2001.

In total, Germany owns 3,400 tons of reserve gold worth about $183 billion. After the move, Frankfurt will be the home of about half of Germany's gold.

Where is the rest? You know too much already.

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