The Central Bank of Venezuela has pawned nearly $1 billion of its gold reserves, sources close to the central bank say. The swap operation, as it is called in the financial markets, was signed with the US bank Citibank, which was chosen from a group of five international organizations, which also aspired to structure this financial instrument.
Although details of the operation are unknown, experts have estimated that the US bank will charge a fee of between 6 and 7 percent for preparing the swap. The gold remains in the vaults of the Bank of England. But it would be taken as collateral in case the Central Bank of Venezuela does not pay on time the amount borrowed from Citibank.
It was thought that the swap’s value would be $1.5 billion, but in the end a lower figure was achieved. The funds will be used to pay for imports, an unofficial source said.