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XMFSinchiruna (26.61)

When Trading Floors Lack Gold



September 22, 2008 – Comments (3)

A very interesting article from Vietnam on the disconnect between paper and physical precious metals prices, which I have been reporting on for many months now.

When gold trading floors lack gold17:09' 22/09/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – The happenings in the gold market in recent days have put gold trading floors in a bind. While the gold prices on trading floors have been decreasing, the prices on the in-kind gold market have been staying firm. Trading floors do not have big volumes of gold to pay out, irking clients.


Gold trading floors lack gold

On September 15, when the in-kind gold price was quoted at VND16.95-17.05mil/tael, the gold price traded on Saigon Gold Trading Floor was just VND16.6mil/tael.


This was not the first time such a big gap (VND300,000/tael) between the prices of the two markets existed. The big gap prompted investors to withdraw gold from trading floors to sell on the in-kind market to get margin profit. As a result, several gold trading floors decided to lower the limit of gold investors can withdraw per day.


Under the operation regulations of many gold trading floors, set up by the floors’ operators, investors can withdraw gold whenever they want.


At the SJC Hanoi gold trading floor, run by Ha Thanh Securities Company and VP Bank, an institutional investor can draw out 50 taels of gold per day, while an individual investor can draw out 20 taels per day. Those investors who want to draw out more than the stipulated volumes have to register with VP Bank. The bank then considers the situation to make a decision about whether to satisfy the investors’ demands.


Currently, some trading floors do not set fixed volumes of gold investors can withdraw per day. They are setting different limits on different days after considering the market situation. This really disadvantages investors because they cannot take initiative in making investments.


Most recently, ACB Gold Trading Floor released a notice on reducing the limit of gold investors can withdraw per day to one tael instead of three taels as previously.


Currently, most gold trading floors cooperate with the Saigon Jewellery Company (SJC), a big supplier with SJC trademark gold, in supplying in-kind gold to serve clients’ demands for withdrawing gold. However, as SJC cooperates with many gold trading floors, it sometimes cannot provide enough gold for all the floors.


Low liquidity, why?


Explaining the big gap between the prices on the gold trading floors and the in-kind gold market, Huynh Trung Khanh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Gold Trade Council, said that the prices on the trading floors have been closely following the world’s prices, while the prices on the in-kind gold market have been changing more slowly.


Moreover, Khanh said the supply of gold has been limited (the import quota has run out and enterprises cannot import more gold), while the demand is still high; therefore, the in-kind gold price has remained high and only decreased very slightly. 


“We cannot purchase gold at high prices in the in-kind market to give to investors. If we do this, we would incur the loss of several hundred thousand VND per tael,” the director of a gold trading floor revealed.


Experts have urged management agencies to set a proper legal framework on the operation of trading floors in order to ensure benefits for investors.


3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 22, 2008 at 12:09 PM, XMFSinchiruna (26.61) wrote:

And for more on the underlying fundamentals:|headline|quote|text|&par=yahoo


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#2) On September 22, 2008 at 12:24 PM, DemonDoug (30.97) wrote:

Note to Realtors: Now THAT is pent-up demand!

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#3) On September 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM, XMFSinchiruna (26.61) wrote:

Citigroup analysts surprised gold is not already at $2,000 per ounce.


Citigroup metals analysts ask why gold is not already at $2,000/oz

As the United States wades through a deep and murky morass of financial uncertainty and turmoil, Citigroup suggests that gold is entering a powerful new investment demand phase tied to safe-haven and monetization.

Author: Dorothy Kosich
Posted:  Friday , 19 Sep 2008


Citigroup asserts that gold will benefit from both the "gloom & doom" and "muddle-through & monetization" scenarios, possibly regaining $1,000 per ounce at year-end and even doubling or tripling in the long term.

"Frankly, we're surprised, that gold is not already at $2,000 an ounce," declared Citigroup analysts John H. Hill and Graham Wark.

In an analysis published Wednesday, Hill and Wark suggested, "Gold appears to be entering a powerful new phrase of investment demand tied to safe-haven and monetization themes."

"We have been surprised that gold has been so heretofore quiet, and have expected a much strong and more immediate response to the government takeover of GSE [Government Sponsored Enterprises]/mortgage insurance entities, and broker-deal bankruptcies," they wrote. "It is notable that hard-core goldbugs have been proven correct in the decade-long contention that an overwhelmingly vast and complex pool of nested financial derivates would ultimately result in cascading defaults and ruin for major portions of the banking system. Frankly, we're surprised that gold is not already at $2,000 per ounce."

"Our sense is that gold has been temporarily depressed by a series of ephemeral, short-term trading dynamics that served to mask strong physical off-take in what is ultimately a tiny market," the analysts said. "We continue to regard as a barometer in the grand battle between hard assets and paper assets."

Benefiting in "Gloom & Doom" and "Muddle-through & Monetization" scenarios

Should the U.S. lapse into a deep recession that spills over to BRIC countries, Citigroup advises that "gold and precious metals would prove to be one of the few safe havens for capital preservation particularly given likely low to negative real interest rates in such a scenario. In this case we would expect gold to double or triple from more current levels."

"A more likely macro outcome involves slow-growth accompanied by the monetization and socialization of derivatives losses," the analysts said. "Actions such as the U.S. takeover of GSE/mortgage and insurance entities and lending/guarantees to derivatives-laden banks, replicated globally, are likely to act to the detriment of paper currencies relative to hard assets and gold."

Bullish on gold

"As we have maintained for months, gold seems to be badly mis-priced and uniformly dour sentiment for industrial metals and coal," Hill and Wark said. "We remain positive on gold, based on a mix of macro and supply-demand drivers."

"The forces that have propelled gold for the past five years are firmly in place, and policy prescriptions for the credit crisis seem powerfully and uniformly re-flationary. Prices are up in the Euro, Yen and Rupees, a crucial credibility test. Gold is below constant-dollar peaks of $1,800-3,000/oz, and has lagged bulk/base metals since the 2001 trough. Appreciation remains muted relative to other metals and oil. Ultimately, gold is a small market with motivated Indian/Asian and petrodollar-fuelled buyers."

The analysts forecast that the gold price will go higher through 2009-10 and maintain year-average forecasts of $950/1,000 per ounce.

"Should the macro environment deteriorate more seriously than Citi economists expect, we would not be surprised to see gold climb to multiples of these levels. In the near term, we expect gold to be highly sensitive to macro developments, given the potential for safe-haven investment demand to ride on top of seasonal strength in physical fabrication offtake."


Citigroup asserted that gold equities are mirroring investment in physical gold. However, the analysts observed that gold mining shares are down 30% in the third quarter while gold bullion has only declined 7%.

Noting that gold equities remain near levels seen when gold prices were in the low $600s, Hill and Wark said, "Lamentably, the equities have shown a strong beta to falling gold, and a weak beta to upside moves."

"Action in gold equities tends to mirror investment demand in bullion. Should retail investors return to gold, the share should participate," they predicted, adding that gold stocks have seen "near-record volatility."


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