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State bank OKs 13-ton non-SJC gold bar conversion
  • | Tuoi Tre | September 20, 2012 02:30 PM
The State Bank of Vietnam Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the Saigon Jewelry Co to convert 13 tons of gold bullion, or 350,000 taels, of other brand names into its national SJC brand.
The conversion will start on Thursday, under a move that has been made at a time when domestic gold prices continue to expand their gap with global prices.

On Wednesday the precious metal in Vietnam returned to VND47.3 million a tael, nearly reaching the one-year high of VND47.4 million it hit on September 14, before closing the day at VND47.25 million a tael. Gold on the global market meanwhile pulled a U-turn to reach $1,775 an ounce at the closing session. The gap between domestic and global gold prices remains high at VND2.64 million a tael, while a reasonable rate should be only VND400,000.

The central bank giving the green-light to converting non-SJC gold bullion came after petitions from banks and gold traders, as SJC has been chosen as the national brand name, with gold bullion production now a monopoly under the state bank, according to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the SBV branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

SJC said it has been busy preparing for the conversion. The company is transporting a verifying machine from Hanoi to add to its three-machine facility in Ho Chi Minh City, and will purchase one more machine, it said.

“Verifying is the most important task in converting gold bullion of other brands into SJC,” an SJC chief official told Tuoi Tre, while adding that they are also training new specialized employees to control the machines.

“In late August we converted gold bullion of a producer, but their gold quality was verified as not good enough,” the official said.

The additional machinery is expected to help increase the productivity of verifying the gold quality, with SJC now only capable of checking 1,646 gold bars a day.

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