Basel - The Swiss central bank made a net loss of 9 billion Swiss francs (9.9 billion dollars) in the past year because its gold reserves dropped sharply in value along with the price of gold, it said Monday.

The Zurich-based Swiss National Bank had to shave 15 billion francs off the value of its gold while profits from foreign currencies and the sale of a banking bailout fund amounted to 6 billion francs.

No profits, therefore, would be distributed this year to the Swiss state and its cantons and shareholders would not get dividends, the bank said.

The gold price dropped by a quarter to about 1,200 dollars per ounce between January and December. - Sapa-dpa