Swiss National Bank (SNB) has revealed that it expects an annual profit of CHF54bn (€46bn) for the 2017 financial year, largely due to significant profits on foreign currency positions.
The SNB holds foreign currencies in order to intervene on currency markets and maintain the stability of the Swiss Franc. Following its decision in 2015 to abandon the fixed exchange rate with the Euro, the central bank had to intervene heavily in order to prevent an appreciation of the Franc and initially suffered heavy losses.
However, with the Franc depreciating throughout 2017, pressures to interfere have waned and for the first time since 2015, the SNB booked profits on its foreign currency holdings.
In October this year, it already announced a CF30.3bn (€25.8bn) profit on its foreign currency positions by Q3, this has now been raised to CHF49bn (€41.7bn).
The announcement is good news for SNB shareholders, as the SNB pledged a dividend payout of CHF15 (€12.7) per share. It also announced a profit distribution to the Confederation and the cantons of CHF 1 billion (€852m).
Further details on the SNB’s profits for 2017 will be released in March.