Central bank to allow more gold imports

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The State Bank of Vietnam said on Friday that it will continue granting quotas to traders to import gold in an attempt to increase supply of the precious metal in the local market.

Eight companies were granted import quotas on November 9 and half of them have started bringing gold into Vietnam, the central bank said in a statement published on its website.

As the quotas are valid for two weeks, these companies are studying market trends carefully and waiting for a good time to importing the gold.

"Although the amount of gold imported so far is not large, the central bank's decision to allow gold imports on November 9 has helped stabilize the market, bringing local and world prices closer to each other," the central bank said.

It also said it will continue selling dollars to the market, which has seen "positive trends" over the past few days. It said two weeks of importing gold would not increase pressure on the forex market.

Local gold prices hit a record high of VND38 million per tael (1.2 ounces) on Tuesday following speculation at home and price hikes in the global market.

After the central bank eased its gold import ban on the same day, for the third time this year, local prices started falling, easing to VND35.85 million a tael on Friday afternoon.

Nguyen Thi Cuc, deputy general director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Phu Nhuan Jewelry, was quoted by local news website VnExpress on Friday as saying her company has used up half of its import quota.

She said the gap between local and offshore prices will be narrowed further, from around VND600,000 at present to just VND300,000-400,000 in the coming days.

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