Granny uses gold as remedy for soft dong
Huong is among millions of Vietnamese who hold an estimated 300 tons to 400 tons of bullion to store their wealth -- valued at as much as $19 billion at domestic prices and equal to official U.K. holdings -- a legacy of more than a century of war, revolution and economic turbulence. The central bank wants to convert the hoard, much of it smuggled in, into dong deposits to strengthen the currency, which has slid 21 percent against the dollar in five years.Instead of giving Granny the hard dong she so desires, the government of Vietnam is, like so many other governments around the world, making it more difficult and expensive for her to use her solid gold substitute.
Private gold holdings “reflect both the Vietnamese cultural values as well as the lack of confidence in the dong,” said Trinh Nguyen, Hong Kong-based economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. “High inflation and depreciation of the dong in the past have caused people to keep their savings in gold.”