more on the proposed german gold sale

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    BASEL, Switzerland, Jan. 11 (Reuters) -- Bundesbank President
    Ernst Welteke said on Sunday Germany had made no decision
    to sell gold yet but that it would seek an option under a new
    gold agreement.

    "This doesn't mean we will sell gold. It means we want an option
    to sell gold. Whether we exercise it or not is another question,"
    he told reporters.

    The German central bank president said there was no agreement
    with the government to sell gold as a newspaper had reported on

    Bild am Sonntag reported that the German government and the
    central bank wanted to sell between 400 and 600 tonnes of gold
    from this year onwards to raise between 4.0 and 7.0 billion

    These proceeds would be put into a fund which would bear
    between 250 to 300 million euros in interest per year that
    would be used for research projects, the newspaper said, quoting
    government sources.

    Welteke said on the sidelines of meetings at the Bank of
    International Settlements that if there were any agreement on
    gold sales he would know about it.

    European central banks are expected this year to renew a gold
    sale agreement that expires in September that for five years
    has specified the amount of gold each bank can sell.

    The accord succeeded in helping to stabilise the gold price
    when it was falling.

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