Vietnam exports 20 tons of gold: report

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Vietnam had exported around 20 tons of gold this year through June 20, as local traders tried to take advantage of lower prices at home to boost shipments, news website VnExpress reported Monday.

The report cited the general director of a major gold company as saying that 10 tons of gold products, mostly jewelry, were exported in the first half of June alone, worth nearly US$500 million.

As gold lost its luster in Vietnam due to anticipated trading restrictions, local prices have been low since April, allowing traders to earn profits from exports, the report said.

According to the General Statistics Office, exports of precious stones and metals hit $1,027 billion in the first half of 2011.

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That compares to a full-year figure of $2,855 billion in 2010.

Vietnam's government said in late February that it would tighten controls over gold trading in the country. The announcement prompted many people to steer away from gold bullion holdings.

The State Bank of Vietnam last week announced a draft decree, which allows for gold trading but bans the use of the precious metal as a means of payment.

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