Leaders up efforts to control domestic gold prices

May 10, 2024 | 19:22
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Amid an escalation of gold prices, the current method of gold bar auctions may not be the optimal direction to effectively control domestic prices, experts have warned.

On May 7, within nearly two hours of opening, Saigon Jewelry Company (SJC) adjusted the buying and selling prices of gold bars five times. By 10am, each tael of SJC gold had increased by $40 compared to the previous day, reaching slightly over $3,400, the highest level to date.

Leaders up efforts to control domestic gold prices

The trading price of SJC gold bars at other gold shops also showed an upward trend but with slower fluctuations.

At Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company, the price of gold bars at the same time rose to nearly $3,500. Meanwhile, at DOJI Gold and Gem Group, the increase per tael was lower, hovering around $3,450.

In terms of plain rings, SJC raised the price of plain rings to $3,000, while DOJI's Prosperous Plain Rings and Bao Tin Minh Chau rings did the same.

Since the beginning of the year, domestic gold prices have continuously surged. Investors who bought gold at the beginning of the year and sold it at this time have been making tens of millions of VND in profit per tael.

In the international market, the price of gold per ounce traded during the morning session in Hanoi hovered around $2,322. Converted at the Vietcombank selling exchange rate, excluding taxes and fees, the international gold price is approximately $630 lower than domestic gold.

The continuous increase in domestic gold prices, leading to a widening gap with international gold prices, is an extremely concerning signal for the national economy, especially for import-export businesses.

Economic expert Truong Vi Tuan stated that in the domestic market, the most important factor is the strong upward trend of the USD/VND exchange rate in recent weeks.

"This is entirely appropriate as gold prices are often calculated in USD. When the USD strengthens, it puts pressure on the VND, leading to a significant price difference in the USD/VND exchange rate, which affects import-export businesses, resulting in domestic price increases, burdening the lives of the people," Tuan said.

Explaining the lack of activity at recent auction sessions, economic expert Dinh Trong Thinh believed that the measures taken by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) had not been effective.

"To conduct successful gold auctions, firstly, the state needs to establish an appropriate bidding price, and the 10 per cent deposit rate is quite high and needs to be reconsidered," Thinh said. "Moreover, in the auction invitation notice, the SBV noted that if it couldn't purchase gold from the international market due to insufficient supply from partners, it reserved the right to cancel the results."

Thus, the risk for bidding units is significant because the gold price fluctuates, and if there is insufficient gold, the SBV has the right to cancel without compensation, which is too safe for the SBV and, consequently, increases the risk for bidding businesses, Thinh said.

According to Thinh, the increasing number of cancelled gold auction sessions may push gold prices even higher.

"The purpose of gold auctions is to timely intervene and address the difference between domestic and international gold prices, ensuring the stability, health, and effectiveness of the gold market. However, for every cancelled trading session, the amount of gold in the market doesn't increase, so traders will immediately push up gold prices," Thinh added.

Regarding the prospects of the gold market, expert Ngo Tri Long believed that balancing supply, demand, and strict supervision of business activities by enterprises could bring about change.

“Completing the expected auction of nearly 17,000 taels of gold will also alleviate supply pressure in the market, contributing to lowering gold prices to some extent. However, we also need to listen to market demand to adjust supply accordingly," Long said.

"Organising auctions to reduce the price gap between domestic and international gold is not a fundamental solution. In the long term, we also need to consider amending Decree No.24/2012/ND-CP on the management of gold business activities to be appropriate for the current context," Long added.

Amendments to gold regulations on agenda Amendments to gold regulations on agenda

Vietnamese authorities have identified issues and will close regulatory loopholes to stabilise the gold market, according to Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank).

Cautious state remains after gold auction Cautious state remains after gold auction

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Gold at historic peak, auctions receive lukewarm reception Gold at historic peak, auctions receive lukewarm reception

Gold prices reached a historic peak last week after consecutive auction sessions held by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) were met with lukewarm enthusiasm.

By Hoang Minh

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