Bandh takes shine off bullion market

Kathmandu, April 13:

Curfew imposed by the government has adversely affected sale in bullion market this week. Despite the demand for gold and silver not having increased during the week, prices have gone up.

The price of 10 gram of gold today stands at Rs 13,975 which was Rs 13,890 only last Friday.

The price of ‘gold and silver’ in the international market has been steadily increasing, fuelling the price of ornaments here in recent days.

Tej Ratna Shakya, president of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NGSDA), talking to The Himalayan Times said curfew has hit the bullion business hard. He said that this has come at a time when the price of gold per ounce has reached $600 in the international market. The rise in the price of gold in the international market has contributed to price escalation here as well, he added. Shakya giving reasons for the roller-coaster ride of the bullion market said, “Speculations have contributed to it.”

He attributed the price rise to inflationary pressure and weakening dollar. Despite share markets across the globe showing bullish tendencies, people are taking more interest in buying gold for security reason, he said.

The continuous rise in the price of the yellow metal in the international market has been attributed mainly to the soaring prices of oil and uncertaintities in the middle east, particularly in Iran. Given such a scenario, gold has once again emerged as one the best hedges against a rainy day, even for institutional buyers.

Ironically, Shakya pointed out, that despite the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) having announced a new provision for the import of gold and silver ornaments freely under the open general license (OGL) about a month ago, no import has been done under this yet. After the OGL was introduced, the earlier provision of importing gold and silver through baggage rules was scrapped.

Under the existing provision, there is no need to open a LC for any firms while importing gold and silver. While importing gold, the government imposes duty at the rate of Rs 130 for per 10 gram, as per the new provision.