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Deputy PM orders gold market inspected this week
Ngoc Mai 20:19, 2024/05/16
Any infringements found during the inspection would be immediately referred to the police for action, the DPM insisted.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has instructed the Ministry of Public Security and the Government Inspectorate to join a cross-functional task force and announce the decision to inspect the gold market this week.

 Local authorities inspect a jewelry shop in Quang Ninh Province. Photo: Bao Ninh/The Hanoi Times

Khai insisted that any violations found during the inspection would be immediately referred to the police for action.

Previously, the government had repeatedly instructed the banking sector to promptly inspect the gold market amidst a significant rise in gold prices, despite increased market supply through auctions.

Last week, SJC gold prices reached a record high of VND92 million ($3,615) per tael. The price has cooled down to below VND90 million ($3,537) per tael, but the gap between domestic and international prices remains high at around VND 17 million ($668) per tael.

During a Government meeting on May 14, representatives from the State Bank of Vietnam, the Government Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Security, the Government Inspectorate, Ho Chi Minh City leadership, and SJC Company analyzed the market and the reasons for the wide gap between SJC’s gold price and world prices.

Some said that gold is not a government-regulated commodity. Therefore, the state does not intervene to control the price. The SBV holds a monopoly on gold bar production, but not on gold trading. However, gold bullion is a unique product with both commodity and monetary characteristics. The public's demand for buying and selling gold bullion is legitimate, so SBV has a responsibility to stabilize the market and create a fair playing field for all stakeholders. The regulatory body must also strictly handle violations such as speculation and market manipulation.

Representatives from various ministries and businesses called for increasing the supply of gold and cooling the market, including setting appropriate floor prices for successful SBV gold auctions.

In the long term, it was suggested that the authorities amend Decree 24/2012 on gold market management to eliminate the monopoly of the SJC gold bullion brand. In the meantime, gold jewelry would be considered a regular product.

In conclusion, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai urged ministries, agencies, and localities to immediately address the current issues in the gold market. He requested the SBV to gather additional information and data to fully assess supply and demand and business activities to develop effective solutions.

At the National Assembly Standing Committee meeting on May 13, government members expressed significant concerns about the gold market. One management challenge highlighted was that consumers often do not request receipts when purchasing gold, and businesses do not issue invoices for each sale. Khai emphasized the need for coordinated solutions from multiple ministries and sectors and a calm assessment to accurately diagnose and address the issues.

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