Among regional markets, Vietnam posted a strong growth rate in gold investments, according to the World Gold Council's latest report in February.

The report of 2013's Q4 took consumers' reaction to lower prices, particularly in the second quarter, which stimulated opportunistic buying, as a reason for the growth.

It also said that domestic premiums in Vietnam remained stubbornly high at around 200 USD per ounce (higher than the world price), but investors nevertheless continued to prefer the inflation-hedging and wealth preservation properties of gold.

The report said the demand for jewellery, bars and coins reached 92.2 tonnes last year in Vietnam , a 20 per cent year-on-year growth. Thus, the country ranked seventh in the world gold consumer demand.

At the same time, the report figured out that the unprecedented level of global consumer demand for gold in 2013 was led by the demand in China and India, with the former becoming the world's biggest gold market.

Meanwhile, in the Western markets, the consumer demand also remained strong, with the US, in particular, having a robust year in the jewellery, bar and coin sectors.

The report concluded that 2013 proved to be the year of the consumer, with the gold jewellery demand close to pre-crisis levels and investment in small bars and coins hitting a record high. The result was the annual worldwide gold demand of 3,756.1 tonnes, valued at 170bn USD.

However, outweighing the impressive consumer demand were the effects of Exchange - Trade Fund (ETF) outflows and lower central bank buying resulting in the 2013 demand being 15 percent below the strong volumes recorded in 2012.-VNA