§ Mr. Caplin
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Government's investments. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Today we are announcing a restructuring of the UK's reserve holdings to achieve a better balance in the portfolio by increasing the proportion held in currency. This will involve a programme of auctions of gold from the Exchange Equalisation Account, which holds the UK's official reserves of foreign currency and gold, with the proceeds being invested instead in foreign currency assets and retained in the reserves.
The Treasury intends to sell 125 tonnes of gold, 3 per cent. of the total reserves, during 1999–2000, with the Bank of England conducting five auctions on the Treasury's behalf. Auctions will be held every other month starting in July.