Vietnam to Step Up Actions to Tame Gold Market, Combat Smuggling – by Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen (Bloomberg News – April 7, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — Stabilizing the gold market has become a pressing issue for Vietnam with smugglers taking advantage of higher local prices to slip in the precious metal, leading to exchange rate distortions and weakness in the dong that’s hurting the economy.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and members of the National Financial and Monetary Policy Advisory Council are among top authorities who have been urging for solutions in recent months.

The price gap of the metal locally over the international rate must be narrowed “to avoid adverse developments,” Chinh said last week as he ordered the central bank to step up measures to calm the market.

Vietnam’s gold imports were 55.5 tons last year, compared with 39.8 tons in 2020, according to the data from the World Gold Council. People familiar with the domestic gold market and its regulations told Bloomberg News the increase is predominantly via illegal channels as Vietnam has strict rules on the metal’s imports. They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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