The Swiss National Bank is canceling dividends to shareholders for the first time since its founding in 1907 after it booked a $16.6B loss on its gold holdings in 2013, swamping currency gains and the profit on a sale of former UBS assets. The bank will also not be making any payments to the 26 Swiss cantons (states) for the first time since 1991.
The SNB held 1,040 metric tons of the yellow metal as of the end of 2012, and the big loss last year may (or may not) dent a movement which would require the central bank hold at least 20% of its assets in gold - a proposal the bank is strongly resisting.
"Anyone who bought gold after 2010 is currently in the loss zone," says Bank Vontobel's Andreas Megg.
After a big start to 2014, gold is flat on today's session at $1,240 per ounce.
Swiss franc ETF: FXF