Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Indian Central Bank Issues Guidelines on Dematerialized Gold in Effort to Reduce Need to Import Physical

Comments on gold by the Reserve Bank of India's Deputy Governor got certain nodes of the www firing last November:
Dematerialise gold : RBI's Subir Gokarn
 Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Subir Gokarn today said there is a need to "dematerialise" gold like any other financial product to reduce its physical imports, the rise of which has been blamed for the high current account deficit that is feared to touch new record high this year. 
"It (high gold imports) is creating some macroeconomic stresses and so the challenge is to find ways to replicate the financial characteristics of gold without necessarily causing physically importing," Gokarn told the last day of the two-day annual Bancon here....MORE
Gold imports are a major component of India's current account deficit:
..."More expensive gold is being imported in larger quantities which is compounding the troubles," he said.
As gold imports touched a record high last year, pushing up the current account deficit to a historic high of 4.2 percent in the year, the Reserve Bank has unveiled a slew of curbs on gold purchase and financing....
The dematerialization talk was understood by some to mean a full scale assault on all that is good and pure gold bugs.

Last week the RBI issued guidelines on the dematerialization:
DBOD.No.IBD.BC.81/23.67.001/2012-13 February 14, 2013
All Scheduled Commercial Banks authorized to deal in Gold
Dear Sir / Madam
Gold Deposit Scheme
The Central Government, with a view to bringing privately held stock of gold in circulation, reduce the country’s reliance on import of gold and providing its owners with some income apart from freeing them from the problems of storage, movement and security of gold in their possession, had notified Gold Deposit Scheme 1999 on September 14, 1999. Accordingly, Reserve Bank of India vide circular No IBS 912/23.67.001/99-2000 dated October 5, 1999 had formulated guidelines for Gold Deposit Scheme to enable banks authorized to deal in gold to prepare their own Gold Deposit Schemes.
2. The Central Government (Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance) has now issued a Notification No.G.S.R.46(E) dated January 24, 2013 (copy enclosed) enabling Mutual Funds/Exchange Traded Funds registered under SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations to deposit part of their gold with the banks under the scheme.
3. In view of the above, the guidelines enclosed with our circular dated October 5, 1999 for operation of the Gold Deposit Scheme have been modified as under:
(i) Under para 5, presently the banks may either issue a passbook/statement of account or a certificate/bond to the depositors for deposit of gold, which will be transferable by endorsement and delivery.
In terms of the Government Notification dated January 24, 2013, the Gold Certificate would also mean the final receipt, in dematerialised form or otherwise, issued to a subscriber of the Scheme after the gold tendered by him has been assayed as specified in para (ii) below and accepted as deposit by the bank. The gold deposit certificate shall be transferable by endorsement and delivery, as hitherto. However, in case of certificates issued in dematerialized form, the depository rules for transfer would apply. ...MORE
We last visited Indian Demat accounts in 2010:
Can Hindu Deities Open Brokerage Accounts Allowing them to Trade Securities?

which was followed by:

UPDATE: Bombay High Court Rules Hindu Deities MAY NOT Trade Securities
 No demat accounts for Hindu gods
MUMBAI: Let gods remain in temples and not enter the stock markets, said the Bombay High Court while dismissing a petition seeking orders to authorities to allow Hindu gods to open demat accounts....
....Which is a pity. Last April Foreign Policy's Passport blog had the perfect prime broker for the Deities:

Teenage goddess to pursue banking career

What's a girl to do when she's not a living goddess anymore? Apparently aim for a career in finance...