April 16, 2024 | 20:16 GMT+7

Vietnam's Central Bank to Restart Gold Auctions to Curb Price Volatility

David Tran -

The State Bank of Vietnam aims to quell dramatic price surges and narrow the gap between domestic and international gold prices, addressing concerns about market stability and potential manipulation.

The SBV is actively collaborating with the Ministries of Finance, Public Security, and Industry and Trade to expedite the auctioning of gold bars.
The SBV is actively collaborating with the Ministries of Finance, Public Security, and Industry and Trade to expedite the auctioning of gold bars.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is moving swiftly to address the escalating volatility of its domestic gold market with plans to resume gold bar auctions after an 11-year suspension.

The SBV said on April 15 the move comes as domestic gold prices in Vietnam have experienced unprecedented surges, consistently outpacing international benchmarks by substantial margins.

The SBV is actively collaborating with the Ministries of Finance, Public Security, and Industry and Trade to expedite the process.

This inter-ministerial coordination signals a comprehensive approach, with the Ministry of Finance supporting customs clearance of gold imports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade ensuring market oversight, and the Ministry of Public Security playing a key role in guaranteeing the security and transparency of the bidding procedures.

The Rationale Behind Resuming Auctions

The SBV has identified increasing the supply of gold bars on the domestic market as a crucial step in curbing rampant price fluctuations. Auctions are viewed as an efficient mechanism to achieve this goal.

The central bank is drawing on its experience in 2013 when it held 76 gold bar auctions that successfully narrowed the price gap between domestic and global markets at the time.

Recent price surges within Vietnam have raised concerns about market stability and the potential for manipulative activities.

While geopolitical tensions and gold's traditional status as a safe-haven asset have exerted upward pressure on prices globally, the extreme discrepancy in Vietnam points to additional local factors, including speculative buying and potential supply constraints.

Details on the Auctions

The SBV has outlined details of the upcoming auction process. Potential participants, currently consisting of approximately 15 qualified commercial banks and gold trading enterprises, will be notified one day prior to an auction.

The central bank will set a floor price, after which bidders will have a limited timeframe to submit their bids, specifying both volume and price. Results, including winning bidders and volumes, will be announced swiftly after bidding closes to bolster transparency.

Expert Analysis

Market analysts anticipate that the renewed gold auctions, combined with other potential interventions, could contribute to stabilizing the Vietnamese gold market.

However, the success of this strategy hinges on several factors. The volume of gold offered at each auction will be significant – too little, and the impact will be negligible. Additionally, the level of participation and bidding aggressiveness from authorized enterprises and banks will play a deciding role.

Gold's Cultural Significance in Vietnam

To fully understand the recent dynamics of Vietnam's gold market, it's essential to acknowledge the unique cultural significance of gold within the country.

Traditionally, gold serves as a safe-haven asset, a hedge against inflation, and a symbol of wealth and prosperity. This deeply rooted affinity for gold, coupled with escalating global uncertainties and concerns about domestic economic conditions, has likely fueled the exceptional demand surge and subsequent price volatility.

The resumption of gold auctions marks a decisive step by the SBV to restore order to Vietnam's domestic market. As auctions commence, it will be paramount to closely monitor their impact on prices, market sentiment, and the overall balance of supply and demand.

The outcome of this initiative will undoubtedly shape future policy decisions in Vietnam and potentially serve as a reference point for other countries grappling with gold market volatility.

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