First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Banks have stopped importing gold because there is nowhere to sell it as the country is under lockdown, with one happy result that this may help to narrow the trade deficit, bankers said.
Anil Sharma, executive director of the Nepal Bankers’ Association, said banks stopped buying gold as soon as the restriction order was imposed in the valley and other parts of the country.
“The banks have around 10-15 kg gold in stock as of now,” he said. “Chances of imports resuming are slim as markets are closed, and there can be no demand unless the lockdown is lifted,” he added.
Last year too, imports stopped right after the stay-at-home order was issued, and banks started buying the yellow metal again only after the all clear was sounded.
According to the Trade and Export Promotion Centre, the country imported gold worth Rs19.43 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal, a steep 42.5 percent year-on-year rise. Imports of the yellow metal totalled Rs13.63 billion during the same period of the last fiscal year.
Nepal imported gold valued at Rs13.63 billion in the whole of the last fiscal year 2019-20. The country imported precious yellow metal of Rs34.63 billion in the fiscal year 2018-19.
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