NICOSIA, July 12 (Reuters) - Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday he hoped there would never be a need for the island to sell its gold reserves, stipulated in an international bailout for Cyprus.
A sale of its gold reserves is among options for Cyprus as its contribution toward an financial lifeline thrown to the island nation in March, but Anastasiades said responsibility for the issue rested with the island's central bank.
'I want to believe there will never be such a need,' Anastasiades told a news conference in Nicosia.
'The issue is not being discussed by the government, it is a responsibility of the central bank,' he told reporters.
An assessment of Cypriot financing needs prepared by the European Commission in March showed Cyprus has to sell excess gold reserves to raise around 400 million euros, to finance part of a 10 billion euro bailout.
News of the potential sale, albeit small, helped drive the biggest fall in gold prices in 30 years last April. Officials have attempted to play the issue down, saying the matter is not a priority for the government.
Cyprus reached an understanding with lenders from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union last March for aid. In return it was forced to wind down a major bank and slap heavy losses on bank depositors in a second.
(Reporting By Michele Kambas) Keywords: CYPRUS GOLD/
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. All rights reserved.
The copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters.