Swiss National Bank losses $20bn due to falling gold prices

The Swiss National Bank said Tuesday it lost US$20 billion in the second quarter of this year due to the significant drop in the value of its gold reserves.

Despite the negative figure, the Zurich-based institution reported a profit of $6.2 billions for the first half of 2013, driven mainly by a stronger US dollar and a higher euro.

SNB’s gold reserves have been the subject of intense political discussions in recent months, which ended up with the right-wing parties forcing a future referendum to force the bank double its current gold holdings to 20% of its total assets.

SNB remarked its results depend greatly on markets variations, so "strong fluctuations" can be expected and "only provisional conclusions" are possible regarding full-year earnings.

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