03 June 2011

(Trying) to buy gold in Chile

A lot of stuff SovereignMan writes is good, but this latest piece on buying gold in Chile is a spin job. Simon Black says that Chile is "where the government just leaves you alone", with "a fairly well-developed gold market". See if that is justified with these key points from the article:

"major banks or the Central Bank, with the great disadvantage of having to pay value added tax" - most countries do not charge VAT on investment bullion

money exchange houses ... the way they sell is informal, which means that they are not required to charge the value added tax ... premiums on gold coins in these shops from as little as 1% over spot" - doesn't say what quality coins you get for 1% and I question whether the 1% really is 1% once the buy/sell spread on the spot is taken into consideration (money changers aren't known for tight spreads)

"some private bullion coin dealers which deal in foreign issuances like the Canadian Maple leaf coin for around 3% to 6% over spot. These dealers do not necessarily have a place of business with fixed office hours – they’re private traders who will often meet at your home or office" - sounds a bit dodgy and I'd certainly not be interested in having a dealer know where I live or work

"storage, the best of option in Chile is at the banks. This can be difficult for foreigners as it is typically required to have some sort of residency visa to have a safety deposit box or checking account" - bank safety deposit boxes are no good in a bank holiday

"no private secure storage facilities in Chile other than the secure vaults around the country’s many casinos" - that isn't a sign of a well developed market

"possible to bring in larger quantities of gold, tax-free, but there is a slightly more complicated process. One must first convert all gold holdings to coins issued by a country with which Chile has a free trade agreement ... a lawyer must obtain a ruling letter that the coins were made in that country (Canada, in this example) and are thus not subject to import duties" - what a silly requirement and process

That doesn't sound like a country that wants people to own gold.


  1. there is no gold market in Chile, which is ironic because it is a major gold producing nation. The Chilean people do not have gold owning culture, they dont really value gold You can find coins in the money exchange shops around the stock exchange but the bank safe deposit box rates are very expensive, well over 100 dollars per year for a tiny box. Private safe vaults and gold dealing could be a good business in Chile, but in the future because you would have to create the market yourself from scratch going against 140 years of cultural disinterest in gold.

  2. Now you can buy gold and silver online in chile in www.aureus.c

  3. http://www.aureus.cl/