Yo-yoing bullion rates fox buyers

Kathmandu, October 31:

Fluctuating gold rates this festival-nonce created a dilemma for the people willing to buy gold this season, resulting in a lower rate of transaction and dissatisfaction of gold dealers.

“The trend of people willing to buy gold would have peaked, but due to frequent fluctuations in the price of gold our customers remained confused as to whether to buy gold ornaments or solid gold bars,” said Tej Ratna Shakya, Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (NEGOSIDA) president.

Last year, there was a boom in the number of people eager to buy gold ornaments, especially

in the festive season, and gold dealers were expecting good business this time too but they were left wringing their hands in dismay as the market did not rise to even satisfactory.

Shakya said, “Compared to last year, we were hoping that total gold transaction of gold ornaments or solid gold bar would be at least 20 kilos per day this festive season. However, the transaction level did not go above 15 kilos of gold per day in Tihar. The transaction level this Dashain was just 10 kilos per day.” He added that the only good transaction of gold made this year was on Teej when they transacted around 15 kilos per day. A swell on Teej day led them to expect better business during Dashain and Tihar, but it petered out, he said.

The trend of buying solid gold bar is also rising in the domestic market. Bipasana Shrestha, a New Road resident, said, “I prefer buying solid gold bars as it is like hard cash and has great resale value if sold at the right time. In the case of ornaments, if we want to sell them the value will depreciate to some extent.” She added that she was still not sure whether to buy gold as this time the price was fluctuating too much.

Surya Vinayak resident Jaya Pradhanang said, “I usually buy gold ornaments rather than solid gold bars as ornaments are fashion trends for women like us.” She added that though the price of gold was higher than last year, she could not help buying gold during festival as it was a custom. This Tihar, she bought 11 tolas of gold ornaments while on Teej she bought just half a tola of them. Pradhanang added that gold was something that people cannot stop buying whether the price is high or low.

NEGOSIDA president Shakya pointed out, “Last year, the total quantity of gold sold was 13 kilos per day in Tihar. Solid gold bars constituted five percent of the sale volume while ornaments made up 95 per cent of it. This year Tihar, it was 10 per cent solid gold bar and 90 per cent gold ornaments.”

Along with the tradition of buying utensils during Tihar especially on the day of Dhanteras, transaction of silver was good in the domestic market. According to Shakya, only since recently people here have started celebrating Dhanteras, (the day when people generally buy utensils). He said people this time were interested in silver utensils. This year there was a transaction of 200 kilos of silver per day.

Talking about silver, Shakya said, “Though there is not much demand for silver in the domestic market, the export of silver ornaments is increasing every year. This year, there was a 10 per cent increase in its export. In 2007, silver ornaments worth Rs 350 million were exported.”

NEGOSIDA said this week gold closed at the same price it had on Tuesday — Rs 19,890 per 10 gram and silver at Rs 295 per 10 gram.”

Meanwhile, as the market stayed shut during Tihar the price stayed the same today as it was on Tuesday. Tthe value of the dollar in the international market decreased against the foreign currencies but it still was stronger than the Nepalese currency. In the international market, gold was at $728.80 per ounce and still in the decreasing phase.