WHAT does the rise in gold hold in store for jewellers and goldsmiths in the country? Habib Corporation Bhd managing director Meer Habib says that 70% of his customers buy for investment rather than just for adornment. This holds true for both gold and gems, he says.
So those who bought earlier have a reason to smile as record prices for gold means they have bettered their investment. Customers who trade in gold would have gotten a very good return as prices have increased by 18-20%. And with that, he says, they will surely buy something new.
At the time of the interview, the price was US$561 per ounce (RM2,111) and Meer expects it to hit US$600 to US$650 per ounce (RM2,258 to RM2,446) sometime this year and in a couple of years to even hit US$800 (RM3,010).
The reason for the increase, he says, is that the demand is higher than its supply; even the central banks have started to buy. Meer says any investment manager would increase gold in the portfolio by at least 5%.
While currency trading is linked to a country and its geopolitical situation, gold is not tied to anything. Meer adds that gold accounted for 40% of Habib’s sales.
Two other jewellers, DeGem and Selberan, say their customers buy not for investment but for adornment. It was all about beauty and quality, they stressed.
DeGem brand and communications manager C.T. Tai says those are keen on investment would be the speculator or banker types who would invest in the futures market or buy gold bars rather than finished products such as jewellery from jewellers.
Well, to each his or her own.
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