The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the sale of up to 403.3 tonnes of gold - about one-eighth of the Fund's total gold holdings - to boost its capacity to assist low-income countries.
The IMF said the sales, however, would be conducted in manner that does not disrupt the international gold market, an IMF release said.
The proceeds will help finance a new income model for the IMF, making the 186-member institution less dependent on its lending revenue to cover expenses, which include surveillance of members' economic and financial policies and other non-lending activities, the release said.
Part of the money so raised will also help boost financing for concessional lending to low-income countries.
In April 2008, the IMF had proposed selling a portion of its gold holdings in a bid to revive its flagging fortunes caused by reduction in its role as a financier to distressed economies to cash in from the soaring price of gold.
"I am delighted that the executive board has given its overwhelming backing to limited gold sales to put the financing of the IMF on a sound long-term footing, and to enable us to step up much-needed concessional lending to the poorest countries," managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn stated. "These sales will be conducted in a responsible and transparent manner that avoids disruption of the gold market," he added.