No import, gold stock to last till mid-March

KATHMANDU; Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has banned the import of gold, but traders here are confident that there is still sufficient quantity to meet the market demand.

According to Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA) president Tej Ratna Shakya, there is enough stock of gold in the market to meet the demand, but if it takes too long for the government to fix new customs duty on gold import that will create a shortage after mid-March.

To avoid the flight of money, NRB has suspended the hand carry process of importing gold. After India’s hike in customs duty to IRs 300 per 10 gram (Rs 480 per 10 gram), gold importers here had earlier urged for increasing the customs duty on gold import in Nepal too. The price of gold in the Indian market is Rs 350 more than in Nepal. Shakya said that till date 700 kg of gold have been imported by hand carry and the per day demand for gold is about 12 kg. Shakya also said that more than gold jewellery, customers come to buy gold for holding purposes.

NEGOSIDA will introduce dual pricing system within a month. Shakya said they are doing the groundwork for the dual pricing system.

“By mid-March, the association will launch the system of gold pricing twice a day according to the international market price.”

He added that pricing will be done according to the international price at 2:00 pm local time. “We are trying for scientific pricing of gold, said Shakya. The price will be adjusted in the daytime if there is a $10 fluctuation in international price. According to Shakya, the association has informed all its members at Lalitpur, Kathmandu and Bhaktapur to increase manpower so that the dual price can be easily circulated to traders in the market. Gold this week closed at Rs 28,035 per 10 gram — Rs 645 more than the opening price on Monday. Gold market due to Holi festival remained closed on Sunday.

It opened on Monday at Rs 27,390 per 10 gram. On Tuesday, gold had dual pricing with opening price Rs 27,265 in the first half and Rs 27,950 in the second half. Gold remained at the same price on Wednesday and Thursday at Rs 27,950 per 10 gram and closed at Rs 28,035 on Friday.

Meanwhile, silver opened at Rs 421 per 10 gram on Monday and Rs 418 on Tuesday. It remained constant at Rs 427 from Wednesday to Friday.