The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is reporting a consolidated profit of USD 2.2 billion for the first quarter of 2011.
For the first three months of the year, the net result from foreign currency positions amounted to USD 1.8 billion, while a net loss of 121.45 million was recorded on Swiss franc positions.
Movements in the gold price did not significantly influence the consolidated result.
The stabilization fund contributed USD 387 million to the favorable quarterly result.
The SNB result depends largely on developments in the gold, foreign exchange and capital markets.
Consequently, strong fluctuations are normal and it is only possible to make provisional conclusions with regard to the annual result.
The net result from foreign currency positions amounted to USD 1.8 billion.
In the first quarter of 2011, the Swiss franc depreciated against the European currencies, leading to exchange rate gains, especially on euro holdings.
Depreciation in the US dollar and the yen, however, meant that the overall exchange rate gain amounted to USD 2.75 billion.
A slight rise in interest rates depressed prices of interest-bearing instruments by USD 3.3 billion.
Interest income on these securities of USD 1.6 billion and price gains on equity securities of USD 0.69 billion were not sufficient to offset the fall in prices.
The SNB still holds 1,040 tons of gold in the form of currency reserves and was worth only slightly more at the end of March than at the end of December 2010, and the net result from gold, at USD 13.2 million, was consequently low.
The SNB absorbs excess liquidity using repo transactions and its own debt certificates (SNB Bills), which result in interest expenses. Since there were also price losses recorded on Swiss franc securities, there was a net loss of USD 120.3 million on Swiss franc positions.
In the first quarter of 2011, the SNB loan to the stabilization fund was further reduced, from USD 13.5 billion to USD 11.3 billion, and the overall risk decreased from almost USD 16 billion to less than USD 13.7 billion.
The stabilization fund showed a quarterly profit of USD 678 million, representing a contribution of USD 387 million to the consolidated result.