Thursday, January 17th 10:58 AM IST

Lufthansa ready to transfer 674 tons of German Gold

# Bundesbank  # Germany gold reserves  # US Fed  

The Bundesbank is planning to shift 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank to Frankfurt over the next eight years.

BERLIN(BullionStreet): The Value of gold Germany wants to shift from New York and Paris is estimated at $36 billion, reports said.

Shipping such a large amount of valuable cargo between countries could be a serious security headache, analysts said.

The security cost of the transhipment of 674 tons of gold is not included, they added.

The move is part of an effort by Germany's central bank to bring much of its gold home after keeping big reserves outside the country for safekeeping during the Cold War.

The Bundesbank is planning to shift 374 tons kept in vaults in Paris and 300 tons stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank to Frankfurt over the next eight years.

The transatlantic journey from New York to Frankfurt will account for 90 percentage of the transportation cost while journey from Paris would be relatively easy and cheap, they added.

Earlier, the Bundesbank brought home about 850 tons of gold from London between 1998 and 2001.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline said it is standing by, ready to handle the job if the central bank calls.

According to Lufthansa spokesman Michael Goentgens, the airliner has specific containers for such cargo, then teams accompanying the cargo until the plane's loaded and ready to take off, then people waiting where the plane lands.

During the Cold War, Germany kept most of its gold abroad for fear it could fall into the hands of the Soviet Union if the country were invaded. Another reason was to have the precious metal close to the foreign currency markets in London, Paris and New York, where gold is traded.

Since France, like Germany, switched to the euro more than a decade ago, storing gold for foreign currency swaps in Paris is no longer necessary, the Bundesbank said.

Once the shipment is complete, Frankfurt will hold half of Germany's 3,400 tons of reserve gold currently worth about $183 billion with New York retaining 37% and London 13%.

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