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China May Expand List of Qualified Gold Importers, PBOC Says

China, which is on course to become the biggest gold consumer this year, may allow more companies to import and export the precious metal under draft rules released by the central bank yesterday.

Financial institutions, and companies that produce more than 10 metric tons of gold a year, may be considered, the People’s Bank of China said on its website.

“The new rule seem to be opening the door to more participants, though we need to see details on exactly who can qualify,” said Wang Zhiping, an analyst at Xinhu Futures Co. in Shanghai. The trade has so far been limited to nine banks, said Wang.

China’s gold consumption this year may jump by 29 percent to reach 1,000 tons, overtaking India to become the world’s largest gold consumer, according to the World Gold Council. China and India together account for more than half of the world’s gold demand, according to the council.

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