HA NOI (VNS)— The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) plans to sell more than 30 tonnes of gold this year and import the same volume.
The central bank said it expected to sell around 20 tonnes of gold to meet the demand of local banks.
However, gold demand was high, as half the volume was purchased at auction.
For this reason, domestic lenders still needed around 10 tonnes of gold to pay depositors. The central bank will therefore continue to auction gold bars.
The SBV estimates it will spend US$1.5 billion from foreign exchange reserves to import gold. Some banks recently sold foreign currency to the SBV to supplement imported gold, but this amount accounted for only a small proportion of foreign currency purchased by the SBV to increase foreign exchange reserves.
Gold demand each year was 50 tonnes, but domestic gold volume sharply declined for the past two years while the Government banned gold imports.
Nguyen Quang Huy, head of the central bank's Foreign Exchange Management Department, told the Banking Times newspaper that the SBV had imported material gold for the past seven weeks to produce gold bars for auction.
Since March, the central bank has organised 23 gold bullion auctions to narrow the gap between supply and demand on the local market.
The central bank sold 580,200 taels (approximately 22.3 tonnes) out of 640,000 taels offered.
Yesterday, the SBV organised its 23th auction of gold bars. Out of 26,000 taels up for sale, 25,800 taels were sold.
The gold bars were sold to seven banks and gold firms. The highest price was VND40.83 million ($1,944) per tael and the lowest was VND40.78 million per tael, according to the SBV. The prices were nearly VND100,000 per tael higher than the starting price.
Commercial banks were the major buyers at the auction, which was attended by 17 enterprises and banks.
The domestic gold price fell yesterday to less than VND41 million per tael after a slight increase the previous day.
Yesterday, the selling price of DOJI Group fell to VND40.94 million per tael while the buying price was VND40.66 million per tael.
In HCM City, each tael cost VND40.66- 40.95 million, about VND5.7 million higher than the world price. — VNS