Vietnam's Gold Traders Shift from Bars to Bracelets

Source:

"Gold trading restrictions prompt Vietnamese traders' transition to jewelry."

Vietnam's domestic gold traders are trying to seek a way out amid the government's intention to restrict or even ban gold bar trading on the local market, and one of their immediate answers to this is to switch to jewelry.

In a latest resolution designed to put inflation under control and stabilize the macro economy, the government says it will work toward doing away with gold bar trading, which has been blamed for upheavals on the foreign exchange market.

Nguyen Thanh Long, general director of Saigon Jewelry Holding Co. (SJC), the country's leading gold processing and trading firm, said the government move, if taken, would leave a hefty impact on the gold market.

Jewelry now accounts for 10% of SJC's revenue while its gold assessment and other related services make up a small fraction.

In such a circumstance, SJC has no choice but to turn to jewelry production and trading, and in doing so, the company will need to speed up construction of large-scale jewelry workshops and new investments.

However, the state-owned firm cannot move forward with such business development plans as it is waiting for the government to issue a decree on the gold market matter, Long said.

SJC is not alone. Sacombank Jewelry Co. (Sacombank-SBJ) will certainly take a hit from the forthcoming gold trading restriction measure as 50% of its revenue came from gold trading activity last year.

Phu Nhuan Jewelry Co. (PNJ), a jewelry market leader, will have the opportunity to sharpen its competitive edge, said Nguyen Thi Cuc, deputy general director of PNJ.

Since Government Resolution 11/NQ-CP came out, the gold market has turned quiet as investors have adopted a wait-and-see attitude pending the next government measure relating to the gold market.

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