Many banks have begun to mobilize gold again at high interest rates, although the central bank has requested local credit institutions to halt all gold mobilization and lending activities from May, local media reports.
The central bank previously allowed banks to keep mobilizing gold until November 25 this year to pay back gold deposited earlier to clients. However, this decision led to a race to hike interest rates to lure gold deposits among banks, with gold deposit rates pushed up to as mush as 4.6% per year.
To remedy this situation, on June 25, the central bank issued a document urging a halt to gold mobilization and lending at banks.
DongA Bank was the first bank to stop mobilizing gold in early July. However, for more than a week now, the bank has resumed gold mobilization with a deposit rate of 1% per annum for all terms that fall due before November 25.
Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) recently announced it would accept gold deposits of 1-3 month terms with an annual interest rate of 0.8%.
Eximbank is also mobilizing gold again with a deposit rate of 0.6% per year for deposits of below 10 taels in 1-3 months. For longer terms (above six months), the rate is 0.4%.
A number of banks even accept gold deposits with terms exceeding the deadline for gold mobilization regulated by the central bank.
When depositing gold at Viet A Bank now, clients enjoy an interest rate of 0.6% per annum for all terms whether they will fall due prior to November 25 or not. The bank will only refuse gold deposits from November 25.
Banks said they suddenly raised interest rates to lure gold deposits in order to balance their financial status and repay their clients.
However, certain banks might hike deposit rates to gain profits, said experts. They explained the banks that raised gold deposit rates in the past few days belong to group G5 +1, consisting of banks eligible to open accounts for gold trading overseas and allowed to convert gold into Vietnam dong under the regulations of the central bank.
The Saigon Times Daily