The Saigon Jewelry Holding Company (SJC) was established on September 1988. It is a state-owned holding company comprised of six subsidiary companies, fifteen joint-venture companies, two provincial branches, two factories producing jewelry and three factories in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City that manufacture gold bullion to meet domestic market demand of about 20,000 taels or 750 kilograms of gold each day. One tael is equivalent to 1.25 ounces. SJC’s main focus is in manufacturing and trading of gold and jewelry.
On February 22, 2006 SJC made waves in the world market when it launched its latest product, one kilo gold bars. The gold bars are being offered for investment, trading, transport, loan payment and safe hedging.
The gold bars are made from 999.9 pure gold from Switzerland. They measure 51mm wide, 115mm long and 9.5mm thick. It is currently valued at around VND 282 million or US$ 17,740. These bullion bars are trademarked and registered with the State Bank of Vietnam.
If you are interested to purchase these SJC gold bars, here is what you have to do:
1. Prepare to be a tourist and fly to Ho Chi Minh City. If you are only interested in small gold bars or ingots you can go directly to one of the SJC jewelry outlets/authorized sales agents to make your purchase. You have the choice of buying a 1 chi, which is equivalent to 3.75 grams, 2 chi (7.5 grams), 5 chi (18.5 grams) or 1 luong, which is equivalent to 37.5 grams. You are allowed to bring out 300 grams of gold with the proper documentation such as receipts and permission from the State Bank of Vietnam.
2. For the serious buyer, sign up with a gold trading firm to create an account, just like you would open a banking account. Tell them the specific type and source of gold that you want. Depending on your funds, you can buy the SJC gold bars or SJC produced gold ingots. Deposit your funds in your account. You will be assigned the gold bars. You do not hold the gold physically in your hand; rather they will be held in a bank vault for you. The trading firm will also handle the actual transfer of the gold. The trading firm earns a commission from buying selling and handling.
3. Sign up with BullionVault.com and they will handle the buying and selling of the gold you want. The gold you buy will be kept in bullion vaults in New York, London or in Zurich. All the gold is kept in Good Delivery form so that buyers are assured that the gold you are selling is of the highest purity. They earn commissions for buying and selling, the transport of the gold as well as storage charges. BullionVault can handle your gold buys from one gram to several thousand ounces. You can call then at +44 20 8600 0130.
Good Delivery means that the gold has directly come from the manufacturer and the transport process of the gold is carefully recorded. Therefore the highest quality of the gold is assured.
4. Another option for you is to have an account in an investment bank that does foreign commodity exchanges with Vietnam. This is open to banks but not to individual traders. They can buy the SJC gold bars for you at competitive prices. With an account with a participating bank, the gold trader can buy a contract at a gold exchange in Vietnam. A contract is done in 10-tael lots. Your trader will only put down seven percent of the market value of the gold and the rest will be put up by an automatic loan from a participating bank, with a set annual interest rate charges.
Buying gold can be risky due to its fluctuating cost. But it is better to invest in gold for its liquidity. It is cheaper than investing in real estate. You need a large sum of money on hand to buy real estate and it is difficult to trade it when want to sell, whereas you can start investing in gold in smaller amounts. And the SJC gold bars, which are 999.9 percent pure, are indeed a wise investment to make.