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Swiss central bank forecasts CHF26bn annual profit

The Swiss central bank has again profited from its interventions in the foreign exchange markets. © Keystone / Ti-press / Alessandro Crinari

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) expects to post a profit of CHF26 billion ($28 billion) for 2021, a windfall made exclusively from its growing foreign currency holdings.

The central bank will likely distribute CHF6 billion to the confederation and cantons under the terms of a profit-sharing agreementExternal link that was made more generous last year.

In a statement on FridayExternal link, the SNB said it also expects to issue a CHF15 dividend payment per share after setting aside CHF8.7 billion for its currency reserves.

The final financial result will be announced in March and is set to beat the CHF20.9 billion profit posted in 2020External link.

The performance of the central bank’s balance sheet slowed slightly in the second half of 2021, after a CHF43.5 billion profit was announced for the first six months of the yearExternal link.

According to Swiss public broadcaster, SRF, the main cause of the weaker performance from July onwards was probably a strengthening of the Swiss franc against other currencies.

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

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