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Gold not a sparkling investment for some   2008-06-24 - ThanhNienNews

The Saigon Gold Exchange, operated by the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), has been accused of incompetence, after at least three investors took substantial losses.

Gold traders see red after losing money on Vietnam’s gold exchange  



Last month, Vo Dang K. discovered his bank account contained only VND20.4 million (US$1,275) after the ACB raided the account to repay loans he’d taken out to buy gold.

K. said he lost more than VND300 million ($18,750) on his ill-fated gold trading through an ACB margin-lending scheme.

Under these schemes, investors can borrow money to invest.

The amount of the loan is based on the borrower’s assets, which are pledged as collateral on the loan.

Using this scheme, K. bought 150 taels of gold.

But the soaring price of the precious metal meant his deposit soon fell below 4 percent of what he’d purchased, triggering a clause that allowed ACB to call in the loan using the money in his account.

Another investor, Kim T. of Go Vap District, claimed a technical glitch at the exchange left her out of pocket.

In February, T. placed a buying order for 900 taels of gold, then worth VND19.14 million ($1071.25) a tael, and deposited VND1.05 billion ($65,625).

A month later, after the price of gold had risen, T. placed an order to sell 400 taels.

However, the order was not matched and so no transaction occurred that day.

T. said a day after she placed the selling order, ACB told her she had to increase her deposit because her funds had dropped below the 4 percent limit.

Short of cash, T. allowed the bank to sell her gold, thinking she would take a loss of a few hundred million dong.

But because the selling order was processed a day later, after the gold price had dropped, T. found she had lost her deposit of VND1.05 billion and owed around VND362 million ($22,625) to the bank.

Tran Trong N. of Phu Nhuan District was also hit hard by a technical problem at the exchange.

Last December, N. placed a selling order of 3,000 taels of gold, which was then worth around VND15.69 million ($980.63) per tael.

N. said he was initially told only 150 taels of gold had been matched.

So later that day N. placed another selling order for the remaining 2,850 taels and was told that order had also been matched.

But later that month, N. said ACB told him it had made a technical mistake and the 2,850 taels of gold had been matched in the first transaction, not 150 taels.

The mistake meant N. was heavily out of pocket because the exchange had sold thousands of taels he did not actually own.

ACB is currently the sole gold trading operator in Vietnam.

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