Monday, February 12, 2007

Barber, barber, shave a pig.... is getting beat down in front of chinese new year!?!? what??? i'm *shocked*!

some info on retail investors moving to gold for the new year.

from the link:

"SHANGHAI: Investment-grade gold bullions marking the "Year of the Pig" are getting an overwhelming response from investors in China. More than three tons of gold bars were sold out within a week.

Under no influence of the Midas touch, pigs in China are turning into gold, to satisfy a seemingly insatiable appetite for this chubby barnyard animal. Many believe the upcoming Lunar New Year is the Golden Pig Year. Falling only once every 60 years, it is one of the most auspicious periods of the Chinese zodiac, bringing the promise of wealth and fortune.

China, the world's third biggest gold buyer, is undoubtedly a gold loving nation. The Chinese perceive gold not only as a symbol of wealth and fortune, but also as a hedge against inflation. Combine this perennial love for gold with the arrival of the lucky Golden Pig Year and it is no wonder Chinese jewellers are now "squealing" with delight. But Chinese consumers are going beyond gold jewellery or ornaments - they are becoming keen and serious investors in gold.

China Gold Coin was the first jeweller in China to issue investment-grade gold bars in 2002. A Year of the Goat then, only 1.2 tonnes of gold bars were issued with prices hovering around 92 yuan or about US$11 a gram. The bullions were sold out within a week. Li Jian, Marketing Manager, Shanghai Gold Coin Investment Co. Ltd, said, "Everyone is saying it's the Year of the Golden Pig, so to meet this demand, we increased the issue to 3 tonnes this year. Sales were still overwhelming, it took only one week and everything was sold out."

The overwhelming popularity of these gold bars is due largely to a buy-back option. Buyers can cash the bullion in at any time, with buy-back prices based on gold prices in local and international markets. Gold prices have jumped more than 70 percent since the first batch of bars went on sale in 2002. Li Jian, Marketing Manager, Shanghai Gold Coin Investment Co. Ltd, said, "The ability to preserve its value is an important function of gold. We've set up several 'buy-back' outlets in the country, we sell but also buy back (the bullions); so it can become a kind of investment. "

The Chinese love gold, and since the set up of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, our market has gradually opened up; and so the demand for gold will probably grow even bigger." Gold is becoming a popular investment alternative in China amid the current sluggish property market and low bank deposit rates. - CNA/ms "

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