Central Fund files shelf prospectus


    TORONTO, March 24 /CNW/ - Central Fund of Canada Limited ("Central Fund")
of Calgary, Alberta is pleased to announce that it has filed a preliminary
base shelf prospectus (the "Prospectus") with the securities commissions in
each of the provinces and territories of Canada, except Quebec, and a
registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission. This registration will allow Central Fund to offer and issue Class
A non-voting, fully participating shares of Central Fund (the "Class A
Shares") by way of one or more Prospectus Supplements at any time during the
25-month period that the Prospectus remains in place. Central Fund does not
presently foresee authorizing an immediate share issue. The purpose of the
filing of the Prospectus is to enable greater efficiency for share offerings
in the future when conditions for issues of shares may be considered as
favorable for existing shareholders and new subscribers in due course.
    Under the Prospectus, the Class A Shares may be issued from time to time
at the discretion of Central Fund, with an aggregate offering amount not to
exceed US$750,000,000. Central Fund will only proceed with any such offering
if it is non-dilutive to the net asset value of the Class A shares owned by
the existing shareholders of Central Fund. Substantially all of the net
proceeds of any such offering will be used to purchase gold and silver
bullion, in keeping with the policies established by the board of directors of
Central Fund. Any additional capital raised by any such offering is expected
to reduce the operating expense ratio in favour of the shareholders of Central
    A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become
effective. The securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted
prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press
release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer
to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state in which
such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or
qualification under the securities laws of any such state.

    Central Fund of Canada Limited (est. 1961) is an exchange tradeable
refined gold and silver bullion holding company. Class A Shares are qualified
for inclusion in many North American regulated accounts. Bullion holdings are
stored on an unencumbered, allocated, segregated and insured basis in the
treasury vaults of a major Canadian bank and are audited semi-annually in the
presence of Central Fund's auditors and bank representatives. Class A shares
are quoted on the AMEX, symbol CEF and the TSX, symbols CEF.A (Cdn. $) and
CEF.U (U.S. $).
    Information regarding Central Fund is available at www.centralfund.com.

For further information:

For further information: J.C. Stefan Spicer, President and CEO at (905)
648-7878 or write to info@centralfund.com

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