India rethinks jewelry sales oversight after slump in gold demand

India’s demand for gold typically rises in the last three months of the year as consumer buy more for the wedding season and for festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra. (Reuters)
Updated 07 October 2017
0

India rethinks jewelry sales oversight after slump in gold demand

MUMBAI: Indian authorities withdrew on Friday an amendment that made jewelers subject to anti-money laundering legislation and caused a drop in gold sales.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act obliges banks and other financial institutions to report all cash transactions above 50,000 rupees ($765) to the government, including customers’ personal identification numbers or tax codes.
Transactions by jewelers in the world’s second-biggest gold consumer were added to the list in August but without specifying a financial threshold.
However, that dented jewelry sales during the gold-buying festival season because customers were wary of providing personal details, industry body the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation said.
“For the time being we have withdrawn the notification and we will be reissuing it with clear cut guidelines,” Hasmukh Adhia, revenue secretary at the Finance Ministry, told reporters.
Demand for gold typically rises in the last three months of the year as consumer buy more for the wedding season and for festivals such as Diwali and Dussehra.
“It is a big relief. The timing is right – just before Diwali,” said Ishu Datwani, owner of Mumbai-based Anmol Jewellers.
Indians will celebrate Diwali in the third week of October, a holiday period in which the buying of gold is considered auspicious.


Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

Updated 19 September 2018
0

Egypt stock market plunges as retail investors take flight

  • Biggest index drop in Egypt since mid-2016
  • Saudi Arabia outperforms in Gulf

LONDON: Egyptian stocks tumbled to their lowest level this year on Wednesday as retail investors took flight.
A sharp rise in Suez Canal revenues, a major foreign exchange earner for the country, was not enough to quell investors concerns about the strength of the currency.
The main Egyptian stock index lost 3.8 percent which some fund managers blamed on generally negative sentiment toward emerging markets worldwide as well as more local speculation about possible currency devaluation.
“Our channel checks suggest the sell-off in the Egyptian market is local retail and institutions driven, on currency fears and speculation over a further round of devaluation,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, portfolio manager at Al Mal in Dubai, Reuters reported.
“Selling is further intensified as margin calls are triggered and technical support levels break down. The country canceled three consecutive Treasury auctions, citing investors’ unrealistic yield demands.”
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues rose to $502.2 million in August up 6.7 percent from a year earlier according to official data released on Wednesday.
Elsewhere regional stock markets closed mostly lower with the exceptions of Abu Dhabi which edged 0.2 percent higher and Saudi Arabia, the best regional performer, which rose by 1.1 percent.
Saudi stocks are benefiting from the strong oil price which eased slightly yesterday but still hovered just under $79.
OPEC and some other oil producers including Russia will meet in Algeria on Sept. 23 to discuss how to allocate supply increases within their quota framework to offset the loss of oil exports from Iran following the introduction of sanctions by the US.
Those measures will come into force on Nov. 4 and data suggests that buyers are already retreating from Iranian crude purchases.
A key question for the oil price as well as regional stock markets in the weeks ahead will be the extent to which other Gulf oil exporters can compenaste for the loss of Iranian supplies by pumping more.