China has granted licenses to import gold to two foreign banks for the first time, sources said, as moves to open the world’s biggest physical bullion market gather pace.
Allowing more banks to import gold could increase the supply of the metal into the country, easing local prices that are higher than in most Asian nations.
China’s gold imports more than doubled last year to over 1,000 tonnes – ousting India as the biggest buyer – as demand soared to unprecedented levels due to the first drop in international prices in 13 years.
ANZ and HSBC were awarded import licenses late last year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Other trading sources said China Everbright Bank (601818.SS) has also received approval to join the nine local banks already allowed to ship gold into China. Beijing strictly controls how much the banks import through a quota system.
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