Vietnam allows banks to trade gold via offshore accounts

Section:

From Nhan Dan newspaper (Hanoi)
via VietNamNet Bridge
Sunday, May 20, 2007

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/biz/2007/05/696849/

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has given the green light to three more commercial banks to trade gold via accounts based offshore.

The permitted banks -- namely, the Ho Chi Minh City Housing Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank, the Phuong Nam Joint Stock Commercial Bank, and the Sai Gon Joint Stock Commercial Bank -- are required to ensure that gold balances in their accounts do not exceed 20 percent of their existing capital.

An official from the SBV's Foreign Exchange Department said the move aims to create a risk insurance tool and reduce transaction costs for the trading of gold.

Since January 2006, the SBV has permitted a total of 13 local banks to open accounts based overseas for the sole purpose of trading in gold.

Many domestic banks have shown an interest in gold trading as a means to diversify their services in order to retain a competitive edge as foreign rivals increasingly enter the Vietnamese market.

In early May the Saigon Thuong Tin Joint Stock Commercial Bank (Sacombank) signed a deal on gold trading co-operation with the Saigon Jewelry Holding Co.

The three other big banks -- the Asia Commercial Bank, the Vietnam Export-Import Joint Stock Commercial Bank, and the Sai Gon Commercial Bank -- also came to terms with the SJC and will open a gold trading centre later this month.

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