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Old 03-04-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
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Buying Gold in China

I'm currently living in China and often see gold listed on adverts for people to buy. In fact in my apartment elevator, the last month had a bank offering a special limited edition gold coin for the 'Childrens Olympics' which is being held here in 2014.

I haven't spoken to a bank yet, but from some reading I found that the banks often offer gold almost at spot price. (They also sell it by the gram not the troy Oz). I was wondering if anyone might have some insight into why this might be? I'm going to see what kind of gold is offered by the banks and see if it would be worth buying here rather than in the US since I can save quite a bit on the 'additional' price added outside of China.

Also an interesting thing I've read is silver is usually available here for almost 50-70% above spot price, so I won't be buying any silver.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #2
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Elevator gold coins? I don't know, there are so many fakes floating around China I'd be awfully hesitant to buy from someone other than a trusted dealer.

Can you order from the western suppliers (like Apmex, Provident etc) or will they not ship to China?
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I have no clue about Chinese practices, but from my experience nobody is willing to be generous for altruistic motives in business. There is usually a downside to such attractive offers. If it's a bank which is selling to you, they might require you to deposit some CNYs, ie becoming a customer? What about buyer registration? I would never trust an authoritarian regime (or any other government) knowing that I own something of value... There's also the option of outright fraud: They might be selling you gold plated tungsten or less weight than you think...
I guess that you're intending to export your pms eventually? Then I'd also check export restrictions for gold, because countries usually don't like pm exports. China surely isn't an exception to that rule. It's also metal afterall, so it's easily detectable at any airport control... It might also cause you trouble when entering the US.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the thoughts.

To address some issues mentioned.

I can purchase from dealers in the US and mail those pieces to my parents address in the US, but then I don't have current access to them, but then again I don't have to worry about those things going missing during moving or traveling.

I would never ship anything of value into China, as I would either be hit with a high import tax or it may go missing at the border. This is common knowledge in China so this is a big nono.

If I were to buy, I would be buying directly from the central bank in China (Bank of China) which is the minters of the Gold Chinese Panda. I already have accounts with them and large sums of cash in the bank accounts. In regards to letting anyone know I've purchased anything, my wife is Chinese and would be the one making the purchase. This doesn't change the fact of someone knowing about our property, but they already know anything and everything they want about me just by me logging on to the internet each day.

If I were buying from a broker or dealer I would be concerned about fakes (in fact today a Student brought in fake 'Silver' coins that she bought for less than 2 dollars).

I would imagine if I am brining a small amount back to the US (I wouldn't buy much), as long as it is valued under 10,000 USD I can bring it in without any issues.

I agree it sounds weird about not having to pay for "additional fees" however, the Chinese don't understand this idea. We don't have to pay a sales tax, no tipping, you don't have to pay for additional services, ect... so I imagine this is the reason why no additional fees would be paid because the Chinese people wouldn't pay it, they would fight the fees until they got removed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mazztech View Post:
...
I would imagine if I am brining a small amount back to the US (I wouldn't buy much), as long as it is valued under 10,000 USD I can bring it in without any issues.
...
If you are planning to move your potential Chinese gold to another country (eventually), you should consider the market liquidity for whatever you buy. I'm not sure the market in the USA, for example, is very liquid for Chinese minted gold.

As far as the $10,000 thing:

http://www.pmbug.com/forum/f13/decla...ationally-121/
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #6
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before we speculate to death the issue of EXPORTING gold from China (man, must be the weirdest thing to do these days ), better go and CHECK, if you will be allowed to export any AT ALL from China. IMHO, it is highly unlikely, that Chinese would allow ANY amount of gold to be exported from China legally, given their military-led worldwide gold-sucking operation, them sucking every last one ounce in any form (phys, miners, futures) from anywhere in the world...

So I'd better check first.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:22 AM   #7
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Thank you all for the comments and thoughts! It looks like I have a little homework to do before I make a decision to buy anything. I will be going to my central Bank of China to discuss with them in more detail, but won't necessarily be making a purchase. As I get information, I'll try to post it here.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:00 AM   #8
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mazztech, please do come back and tell us what's the story with private exports of gold from China, if you don't mind, that would be very valuable to know

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Looks like gold in CNY is at the very bottom of the trading range. It closely tracked USD gold as it should due to the peg between the USD and CNY. However, as the Chinese are letting the CNY appreciate, the bottom of the trading range has already been reached.

Chart by Tom Fitzpatrick of Citi:

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