Investments in gold increased 22 per cent in the UAE

Investments in gold increased 22 per cent in the UAE

Gold sales cross $800m mark

01 July 2008

The World Gold Council’s regional office in Dubai announced that UAE gold sales increased from Dh2.7 billion ($735 million) in the first quarter of 2007 to Dh3.1 billion, contributing to a 15 per cent increase.

The same positive sales value increase was recorded in Saudi Arabia as gold sales increased by 7 per cent. Additionally, Egypt witnessed an astounding sales increase of 64 per cent.
The sharp rise in the gold price, which briefly touched record levels above $1,000/oz in mid-March, was a key determinant of movements in gold demand in the first quarter. It resulted in total demand falling from year-earlier levels by 19 per cent in the UAE, 25 per cent in Saudi Arabia and 30 per cent in other Gulf countries. There was a notable exception in Egypt, where gold demand increased 15 per cent to reach a total of 18 tonnes in Q1 of 2008. The rise in the gold price provoked a surge of both jewellery and investment buying in Egypt due to the widespread belief that the price was going to rise further.
The surge in gold price affected markets worldwide. India for example, which is the largest market for gold and also the most price-sensitive, continued to suffer from the impact of high and volatile prices as gold demand dropped by almost half the levels of Q1 of 2007.
Moaz Barakat, managing director of the World Gold Council in the Middle East, Turkey and Pakistan, said: “Despite the shortfall in tonnage in the recent months, gold’s safe haven and hedging characteristics have been a major attraction to investors during this period of instability, greater inflationary fears and falling dollar. In the UAE the increase in the investment sector was from 1.9 tonnes to 2.3 tonnes in Q1 of this year compared to the previous year, contributing to a 22 per cent increase.
“We also believe that investor interest will remain very strong in the near future and that as the price stabilises, major gold jewellery buying consumers will adapt to a higher floor in the price”

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