Over 20 banks, firms in Vietnam apply to continue trading gold bars

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A total of 21 enterprises have sought permission from the State Bank of Vietnam - the country's central bank - to continue trading gold bars after the tightened regulations are implemented early next year, says an official from the state lender.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the central bank's Ho Chi Minh City branch, said the bank is considering the proposals submitted by eight banks and 13 companies as of November 27.

Lenders requesting special permission included HD Bank, Eximbank and Sacombank; companies included Doji Gold and Gems and Bao Tin Minh Chau, reported Tien Phong on December 5.

Local media quoted Minh as saying that the HCMC Branch had been assigned by the central bank to examine the bullion trading activities of these banks and firms and would determine this December which, if any, would be allowed to continue trading gold bars.

As the situation currently stands, any companies not licensed by the central must get out of the gold bar business after January 30, 2013.

The central bank said in a circular issued on May 25 that the existing regulations on bullion production and trading would be replaced with more stringent ones within six months, beginning July 10.

The decree stipulated that bullion traders must have a minimum registered capital of VND100 billion (US$4.8 million) and at least two years experience in the industry.

They are also required to have branches in at least three major cities and provinces and pay a minimum VND500 million per year for two consecutive years.

Banks must have VND3 trillion of registered capital and trading network in at least five major cities and provinces to trade bullion. Also, all of their transactions must be registered and approved by the central bank.

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