Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Akshaya Tritiya brings hope among Indian gold traders

Indian gold industry is now in a jovial mode because Akshaya Tritiya is coming and demand of gold, silver and diamond jewelries have gone up. The year 2009 started with a gloomy note due to the economic melt down. Now, the festival will give boost to the gold business in the country.

Akshaya Tritiya: The Indian Black Friday

Akshaya Tritiya is a Sanskrit word. The word ‘Akshay’ means “one that never diminishes.” According to the traditional Hindu calendar, Akshay Tritiya falls on the day of the “bright half of the lunar month of Vaishakha.” It is one of the four most auspicious days in the Hindu religion. On this day, people buy gold, silver, diamond, precious stones, plots and apartments, and various other long term assets. A week or two before the festival, gold purchase starts to rise. Not only purchase, many big business or new ventures or construction works start on the day of Akshaya Tritiya because it is believed that businesses that start on Akshaya Tritiya would prosper and bring money. In one sense, the Akshaya Tritiya can be referred as the Indian Black Friday. Interestingly, people of all religion in India observes this day. In 2006, Akshaya Tritiya was observed on 30th April; 20th April in 2007; 8 May in 2008; and 27th April in 2009.

Gold business in India:

  • India is one of the largest gold markets in the world in recent times. Gold is considered to be a symbol of good fortune among Indian people. According to the figures presented by the World Gold Council (WGC), the country’s gold demand stood at 243.2 tonnes, accounting for 26% of the worldwide demand in 2001. That figure has definitely increased over the years. The other major gold consuming country is Turkey. In 2008, GFMS Ltd., one of the top precious metals consultancy firms in the world, published a research paper which indicated that China might supplant India as the top gold consumer in near future. Here is a table of Indian gold consumption since 1999.

Year

INR / 10 gms

Absolute returns as compared to 2008 prices (INR)

Absolute % Returns

Annual RoI

1999

3,850

8,298

216%

24%

2000

4,023

8,125

202%

25%

2001

4,106

8,041

196%

28%

2002

4,827

7,321

152%

25%

2003

5,424

6,724

124%

25%

2004

5,955

6,193

104%

26%

2005

6,296

5,851

93%

31%

2006

8,791

3,356

38%

19%

2007

9,219

2,929

32%

32%

2008

12,147




Source: http://www.indiainfoline.com/news/innernews.asp?storyId=99057&lmn=1

  • Like the Akshaya Tritiya, there is another gold buying festival that takes place in October.
  • Women, especially housewives, are the core buyers of gold jewelries. Aside from wearing gold ornaments, they consider gold as a valuable asset. In the last ten years, India observed an average of 26% return on investment in gold.
  • In April 2009, India will import 25 to 30 metric tonnes of gold. On April 17, 2009, Suresh Hundia, President, Bombay Bullion Association said that 10 tonnes of gold had already been imported to India.
  • This year, the Akshaya Tritiya is very special to the traders for many reasons. Like many other industries, the Indian gold industries also fell pray to the economic recession. In the first three months, sales of gold went down due to higher price and gold import also decreased. The festival has brought hope among businessman and potential buyers. Gold traders are looking forward to do a good business and they are doing whatever they can to attract people. On the other hand, the price of gold fell 9% from a record high Rs. 15,780 per 10 gm in February to Rs. 14,300. In that same month, Multi Commodity Exchange rose to a record high of Rs. 16,040 per 10 grams as economic meltdown boosted buying.
  • Ajay Mitra, Managing director, WGC, said that Indian jewelers would invest around Rs. 40 million in advertisements. In addition, they are going to give out many “get one free” offers. Daman Prakash, director, MNC Bullion, admitted of the upsurge in gold demand in current times but it is still 50% lower compared to 2008. Large purchases took place after gold price declined but overall buying went downwards. Gold traders are expecting sales to be lower than 2008 but it will be 7.3% higher compared to 2007.
  • In Ahmedabad, demand of gold has risen to 150 to 200 kg per day after price fell below Rs. 14000.
  • In the Mumbai spot market this week, price of gold came down by 10.80% to Rs. 14,045 per 10 gm.
  • Like gold, import of silver has also started. Like gold price of silver has also decreased which would trigger high demand among buyers.
(This entry was originally published on April 2009)

Related articles:

Akshaya Tritiya- Wikipedia

The Economic Times

Business Standard

Commodity Online

Reuters

India Infoline

India Business Directory

The Wall Street Journal


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