Vietnam allows gold imports of 2.1 tons

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The State Bank of Vietnam has allowed more than 10 companies to import a total 2.1 tons of gold for jewelry production, local media reported Friday.

Some of the companies, including DI, Jewelpark Vina, Son Duong Vang, have been granted quotas to import more than 300 kilograms of gold each; others have only been given permission to bring in 6 to 20 kilograms, Saigon Tiep Thi reported, citing customs data.

The companies will use the gold to produce jewelry for exports, according to the report.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said Vietnam may need to import US$2.5-billion in gold during 2012, up 9.6 percent from last year, unless the gold market stabilizes.

Vietnam increased penalties for gold trading violations last year, raising the maximum fine to VND500 million ($23,860).

The central bank is expected to take over gold bullion production and reduce the number of gold bar traders with higher capital and market share requirements.

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