Black Market Bullion Is in Crosshairs of Bolivian Lawmakers

Bolivian lawmakers are debating a bill that would require all gold produced in the country to be offered to the central bank as the nation builds its reserves and cracks down on the illegal bullion trade.

Local producers would need certification to sell abroad, and would first be required to offer their gold to the central bank at international prices in return for tax breaks, according to a copy of the draft bill. Exports would be permitted once the bank meets its annual buying limits.

Bolivia currently has about $2.6 billion in gold reserves, making it the fourth-largest holder of bullion among South American nations. The bill will allow a greater portion of reserves to be held in the precious metal at a time when global stimulus measures stoke inflation concerns that undermine paper currencies.

The proposal will also allow the central bank to carry out offshore sales and use instruments such as swaps, options and forwards as well as loans backed by the metal.

Black Market Bullion Is in Crosshairs of Bolivian Lawmakers

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