The French central bank trades gold for its own account "nearly on a daily basis" and is "active in the gold market for central banks and official institutions," a bank official told a conference of the London Bullion Market Association in Rome on September 30.

The official, Alexandre Gautier, the Banque de France's director of market operations, added that the bank is considering returning to the gold lending business. He implied that the bank's objectives in the gold market are simply allocation of foreign exchange assets and earning ordinary profits on trading rather than intervention in the currency or gold markets.

A transcript of Gautier's remarks to the LBMA conference has been posted at the organization's Internet site here and at GATA's Internet site here.

In contrast, the deputy chief of market operations for Germany's Bundesbank, Clemens Werner, told the LBMA conference that at the German central bank "there is no active management of gold reserves, no buying and selling every day." Werner added that only 9 kilograms of the Bundesbank's gold is held as a mere paper claim -- unallocated metal. This suggested his confidence that the German gold vaulted at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York remains there unencumbered, though the Bundesbank's announcement this year that it will take seven years to repatriate only 20 percent of its gold at the New York Fed has raised suspicions. [...] 

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