argentina may increase gold reserves

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    Argentina's Basco Says Central Bank May Increase Gold Reserves
    Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina's central bank may increase its gold reserves as a hedge against inflation and to protect it against financial crises, said Juan Ignacio Basco, the bank's head of market operations.

    ``We don't rule out increasing our gold holdings in the future, which would depend on the economic environment,'' said Basco, in an interview during a conference in London today. ``Gold is recovering its role as an asset protecting the portfolio against inflation and international financial crises.''

    Argentina's central bank sold almost all its gold in 1997 because other assets offered higher returns, Basco said. The bank today holds 3 percent of its reserves in gold, down from 19 percent in 1991, he added.

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