Vietnam to auction gold for first time in a decade

State Bank of Vietnam. Credit: Wikipedia

State Bank of Vietnam will resume auctions of gold bars after over a decade as it seeks to boost supply of the precious metal amid record high prices.

An auction has been set for April 22, according to Dao Xuan Tuan, head of the central bank’s foreign exchange management department. The central bank’s last gold auction was in December 2013.

“This can help calm the local gold market” in the short term, Hanoi-based economist Nguyen Tri Hieu said in a phone interview. Still, “the impact will depend on how much gold the central bank can sell.”

Gold has been setting a series of records this year as tensions in the Middle East and Russia’s war in Ukraine bolstered the metal’s role as a haven asset. The surge in price hasn’t deterred the demand in Vietnam, driving local premium over the international rate to as much as 15 million dong ($590) per tael earlier this year.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has been urging the central bank for steps to stabilize the domestic market. The gap between local and international prices must be narrowed “to avoid adverse developments,” Chinh said this month, asking the central bank to step up measures to calm the market.

The central bank, in a statement, said it will offer to sell 16,800 taels of gold on April 22. Each of the 15 qualified organizations, which include commercial banks and gold companies, can only buy a maximum of 2,000 taels.

The price of gold in Vietnam reached an all-time high this week. It was trading at 83.8 million dong ($3,293.51) per tael, or about $2,744 per ounce, on Friday.

(By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen and Nguyen Xuan Quynh)


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