Vietnam will not ban personal gold holdings: official

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The right to keep gold as an asset will be secured for all citizens even when the government tightens control over gold trading in the country, a central bank official says.

Nguyen Quang Huy, head of the foreign exchange department at the State Bank of Vietnam, said in an interview published on the bank's website Saturday that existing regulations allow all Vietnamese to have gold holdings.

The government has only aksed the central bank to take measures to gradually elimininate gold trading in the black market, he said. Gold holdings by the public will continue to be protected under the law, he added.

Huy also rejected rumors that the government will ban foreign currency assets. He said all Vietnamese are allowed to keep foreign currencies, sell them to banks and use them for legitimate purposes. They are also allowed to deposit foreign currencies in banks and receive interest payments in cash.

The government has unveiled a package of monetary and fiscal tightening measures, and among them is a plan to end the widespread trade in gold bars on the unofficial market.

The central bank said last week that the issue of licenses for gold bullion trading and production has been stopped.

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