Swiss National Bank officials said yesterday they do not plan to sell any gold from current reserves as the result of a proposed change in Swiss regulations which, if approved by Parliament, will eliminate the requirement that the bank hold an amount of gold equal to 40 percent of banknotes in circulation.
Since Switzerland plans to retain its current level of gold reserves, officials do not expect the change to have any effect on international gold markets.
The proposal to do away with a required percentage for gold reserves was "only a pratical decision," according to one bank official, to spare the bank the expense of buying more gold if banknote circulaiton rises. The proposed law does not eliminate, however, the requirement to hold gold reserves.
The proposal is not expected to result in a dramatic increase in rate of monetary expansion or inflation here. The Swiss tend to be very conservative when increasing the supply of money; the increase this year is estimated at around 5 percent, according to bank sources.
On the contrary, say bank officials, the new law would strengthen the central bankspower to influence the money supply and curb inflation. According to official statistics, Switzerland enjoys a very low rate of inflation. In February consumer prices rose only 1.1 percent over one year ago.
At this point, Switzerland holds well over the 40 percent gold reserve requirement. With about 19.5 billion francs in circulation, the Swiss have 11.9 billion francs worth of gold in reserves, or about 61 percent of the banknote value.
What concerns banking officials is the prospect of having to buy more gold at high prices in five to seven years unless current regulations are changed.
The proposed national bank law will come into force during the spring of 1979 if approved by parliament unless it is challenged in a nationwide referendum. It also includes provisions to expand open money market policies in Switzerland and to control the issuance of bonds.