The World Gold Council estimated that Vietnam's gold holdings amount to roughly 1,000 tons
Vietnam’s gold holdingsÂ are valued at up to 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to financial estimates from international groups.
The World Gold Council estimated that Vietnam’s gold holdings amount to roughly 1,000 tons while theÂ UK’s precious metals consultancy company GFMS estimated that amount hovered closer toÂ 460 tons, according toÂ VnExpress reportsÂ about a speechÂ given Thursday byÂ Le Xuan Nghia, deputy head of the National Financial Supervisory Committee.
Based on these estimates, Vietnam’s totalÂ gold holdings could range from 20 to 45 percent of the country’s GDP, Nghia said. That compares to a ratio of less than 3 percent of most other countries, he said.
“Most of those holdings areÂ maintained by private individuals while official reserves at the central bank are insignificant,” Nghia said. “This means that thereÂ is a major financial resource that has not been used for the production sectorâ¦ These unofficial funds also put a pressure on the currency market, account balances, monetary policies and economic growth.”
VnExpress reported that several expertsÂ hadÂ cited similar estimates of Vietnam’sÂ gold holdings in the past. The State Bank of Vietnam, however, has not announced gold statistics.
In February, the governmentÂ introduced itsÂ plan to tighten controlÂ on gold trading. The central bank is expected to submitÂ a draft decree regarding regulation ofÂ the gold market by the end of this month.
VnExpress further reported that officials once considered limiting theÂ gold bullion trade to one-way sales to the central bank. However, it’s likely that the final version of the decree will still allow people to buy and sellÂ gold at authorized retailers, the news website said, without citing any source.
At Thursday’s meeting, Le Duc Thuy, former governor of the central bank, said thatÂ there is no doubt aboutÂ high customer demand forÂ gold in Vietnam. The habitÂ was formed during wartime andÂ has persistedÂ due to highÂ inflation.Â
When there is such a demand, it’s necessary to have a legal framework to facilitate legitimate gold trading, he said.