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China Central Bank Plans to Double Issuance of Gold Panda Coins

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- China’s central bank plans to more than double its issuance of gold panda coins this year to meet the demand of “precious metal coins collectors.”

The People’s Bank of China said on its website that it plans to issue about 1 million ounces of its 2011 panda commemorative gold coins compared with plans at the end of last year for 500,000 ounces of the coins.

Demand for gold in China has increased as investors seek a store of value in an economy where inflation accelerated last month to the fastest pace in almost three years. The World Gold Council estimates that investment demand for gold in China more than doubled to 90.9 tons in the first three months while consumption of jewelry made of the metal gained 21 percent to a record 142.9 tons.

China’s central bank plans to issue as much as 500,000 one-ounce gold panda coins and as much as 600,000 each of the half-ounce, quarter-ounce, one-tenth once and one-twentieth ounce gold coins, according to a June 20 statement. That’s an increase from plans at the end of last year to issue 300,000 of the one-ounce coins and 200,000 each of the other coins.

The central bank didn’t increase its planned issuance of the 1 kilogram and 5 ounce gold panda coins. It did say it will also double the issuance of one-ounce silver panda coins to as much as 6 million from 3 million.

To contact Bloomberg News staff on this story: Victoria Ruan in Beijing at vruan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst in Hong Kong at ppanckhurst@bloomberg.net

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