Bloomberg News

SNB Chairman’s Wife Defends ‘Ridiculously Cheap’ Dollar Purchase

January 08, 2012

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Kashya Hildebrand, the wife of Swiss central bank Chairman Philipp Hildebrand, said she bought dollars to run her art gallery business at a time when the currency was “ridiculously cheap.”

“My interest in the dollar purchase was motivated by the fact that it was at a record low and almost ridiculously cheap,” Swiss Television’s “10vor10” program reported late yesterday, citing Kashya Hildebrand saying in a written statement. She also said that she had worked in the financial industry in the 15 years through 1999 before becoming an art dealer and “felt comfortable with this transaction.”

The Swiss National Bank set a minimum exchange rate of 1.20 francs per euro to curb the Swiss currency’s rise and help Swiss exporters on Sept. 6. Both the euro and the dollar appreciated after the announcement. The SNB said on Dec. 23 Hildebrand had been cleared of any improper action in connection with his wife’s dollar purchase on Aug. 15.

Kashya Hildebrand also said that 70 percent to 80 percent of financial transactions at her art gallery are in dollars. “The day after the dollar purchase, the SNB’s general counsel was informed for the sake of transparency, and there were no objections to the transaction,” she said in the statement.

--Editor: Simone Meier

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Verschuur in Zurich at pverschuur@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net -0- Jan/04/2012 05:55 GMT


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