Vietnam's demand for gold jewelry rises fastest in Southeast Asia: report

By Ngan Anh   February 7, 2018 | 05:54 pm PT
Vietnam's demand for gold jewelry rises fastest in Southeast Asia: report
Gold products are displayed at a shop in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters
The thirst for the precious metal in Vietnam rose 7 percent year-on-year to 16.5 tons in 2017.

Demand for gold jewelry in Vietnam rose at its fastest pace in a decade last year, according to a recent report by the World Gold Council.

The country's love for the shiny metal outstripped most of the rest of Asia growth wise, with demand rising 7 percent year-on-year to 16.5 tons, the council said in the report.

The demand has benefited from Vietnam’s robust economic growth and continued market gains, the report said.

Vietnam was the biggest gainer in Asia last year, with the benchmark VN-Index rising 47 percent. Market capitalization almost doubled to nearly $150 billion, fueled by state-owned company sales and listings.

Vietnam’s economy grew 6.8 percent in 2017, breaking the 6.7 percent target set by the government which both officials and economists considered ambitious.

The council said the expansion of the jewelry retail network and tentative signs that the government will begin to liberalize the gold market also boosted demand.

In Vietnam, gold and the greenback are favored because most people don’t just see them as an investment; they see them as savings to ensure their financial security, said Nguyen Duc Do, deputy head of the Institute of Economics and Finance.

Global demand for gold jewelry increased 4 percent to 2,135 tons in 2017, the first growth recorded since 2013, the report said.

China and India were the two biggest gold markets in Asia last year, with the former snapping up 646.9 tons and the latter buying 562.7 tons, said the council.

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