§ Mr. Viggers
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what has been the profit or loss on sales of gold by the Bank of England since May 1997, calculated by comparing the price achieved on sale with the current price of gold. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The gold sales programme announced in May 1999 was part of a restructuring programme to reduce the riskiness of the Reserves portfolio.
This was a long-term investment decision and as such it is inappropriate to measure gains or losses resulting from fluctuations in market values on a particular day or over a short-term period. Gains and losses should be measured over the longer term, taking account of all the elements of the restructuring programme. In particular, the returns gained from the foreign currency assets purchased with the proceeds of the gold sales should also be included (see Part 2 of the National Audit Office Report on "The Sale of Part of the UK Gold Reserves", published on 12 January 2001).