Kathmandu, January 7
Banks have kept on hold the import of gold since mid-December owing to significant slump in the demand of the yellow metal in the domestic market.
The plummeting demand has resulted in increasing stock of raw gold with banks thereby discouraging them to import gold until the stock is cleared, informed Anil Sharma, executive director of Nepal Bankers’ Association (NBA) — the umbrella organisation representing 28 commercial banks of the country.
According to NBA, banks have more than 450 kilograms of gold in stock. As traders are not allowed to import raw gold on their own, 16 commercial banks in the country import raw gold on a turn-wise basis based on the import quota of 20 kg gold per day set by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and sell them to jewellers.
“The sale of raw gold is nearly nil since mid-December. Banks are not in a position to import the precious metal unless the existing stock is cleared,” said Sharma.
Acknowledging that the demand for gold and gold jewellery has plummeted significantly over the past few months, Mohan Kumar Bishwokarma, president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association, informed that the demand for gold and gold jewellery is not going to increase unless gold price starts coming down. “As gold price has been rising constantly, customers have been avoiding buying gold jewellery and wait