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Swiss National Bank expects profit of CHF49 billion for 2019

The SNB made a profit of around CHF40 billion from its foreign currency positions and a valuation gain of CHF6.9 billion on its gold holdings (Keystone)

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to post an annual profit of CHF49 billion ($50.29 billion) for 2019, it said on Thursday, citing big gains from foreign bonds and stocks bought to dampen the value of the safe-haven Swiss franc.

The profit, following a loss of CHF15 billion in 2018, means the central bank will pay out CHF2 billion to the Swiss government and cantons for last year and will hold discussions with the finance ministry on a possible additional distribution for 2019 and 2020.

The SNB made a profit of around CHF40 billion from its foreign currency positions and a valuation gain of CHF6.9 billion on its gold holdings, according to preliminary figures, it said in a statementexternal link.

It proposed an unchanged dividend of CHF15 per share and will publish its definitive figures on March 2.

Stability

Making a profit is not part of the SNB’s mandate, which targets price stability while supporting the overall Swiss economy.

As part of this goal the central bank has been waging a long campaign to reduce the value of the franc, which is sought by investors in times of geopolitical uncertainty but whose strength weighs on the export-reliant economy.

The SNB’s profit reflects valuation gains, dividends and interest payments from the massive cache of stocks and shares it has bought to weaken the franc.

At the end of 2019, the SNB had built up more than CHF804 billion in foreign currency investments, larger than the output of the entire economy.

Full story here
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