Swiss central bank posts $11.95 billion 1Q profit on foreign currency gains

GENEVA – Switzerland’s central bank has posted a profit of 11.2 billion francs ($11.95 billion) for the first quarter on gains in its foreign currency holdings, a major turnaround from the previous year.

The Swiss National Bank said Tuesday foreign currency positions profited from exchange rate gains of 5.2 billion francs and valuation gains on shares of 4.9 billion francs.

By comparison, the bank posted a 1.7 billion francs loss in the first quarter of 2012 due to exchange rate losses against the yen, dollar and euro.

The bank said it suffered “a slight valuation loss” of 100 million francs this year on its 1,040 tons of gold reserves stashed in Switzerland, Britain and Canada.