India’s gold imports to rebound in 2017 on restocking, good monsoon

India’s gold imports to rebound in 2017 on restocking, good monsoon
Two-thirds of India’s gold demand comes from rural areas, where jewelry is a traditional store of wealth. (Reuters)
Updated 13 August 2017

India’s gold imports to rebound in 2017 on restocking, good monsoon

India’s gold imports to rebound in 2017 on restocking, good monsoon

PANAJI, India: India’s gold imports are likely to jump by a third in 2017 to 750 tons on restocking by jewellers and as good monsoon rainfall is expected to boost demand in rural areas during the upcoming festive season, a leading refiner said.
Higher imports by the world’s second biggest consumer will support global prices, which are trading near their highest level in two months, but could widen the country’s trade deficit.
“Demand and imports are normalizing after taking a hit last year. Jewellers are restocking after destocking last year,” said Rajesh Khosla, managing director of MMTC-PAMP India, the country’s biggest refinery.
India, whose gold consumption is rivalled only by China’s, imported 557.7 tons of gold in 2016, the lowest in 13 years, according to the World Gold Council.
In the first seven months of the 2017, imports more than doubled to 550 tons from the same period a year earlier, according to provisional data from consultancy GFMS.
But import growth would taper off in coming months as jewellers had restocked earlier than usual this year, fearing higher taxes, Khosla said on the sidelines of the International Gold Convention in Panaji, capital of India’s western resort state of Goa.
As part of a new nationwide sales tax regime that kicked in on July 1, the goods and services tax on gold jumped to 3 percent from 1.2 percent previously.
“Jewellery demand has improved this year but investment demand is still weak due to a rally in the stock market and the appreciating rupee,” said Prithviraj Kothari, managing director of RiddiSiddhi Bullions.
The rupee has risen nearly 6 percent so far in 2017 and is trading near its highest level in more than two years.
“Monsoon rainfall is normal this year. This will boost rural demand during the festivals,” said a Singapore-based official with a leading gold supplying bank to India.
Two-thirds of India’s gold demand comes from rural areas, where jewelry is a traditional store of wealth.
The quarter ending in December typically accounts for about a third of India’s gold sales since it includes the start of the wedding season and festivals such as Dhanteras and Diwali, when buying gold is considered auspicious.


EgyptAir reduces its ticket prices by 50% to European countries

EgyptAir reduces its ticket prices by 50% to European countries
Updated 53 min 35 sec ago

EgyptAir reduces its ticket prices by 50% to European countries

EgyptAir reduces its ticket prices by 50% to European countries
  • Business class tickets discounted by 35%, and economy class tickets by 25%, with discounts applicable when purchasing tickets until Jan. 31
  • Tourism revenues in Egypt plummeted by more than 69% during the last year due largely to the coronavirus disease pandemic

CAIRO: EgyptAir has announced a 50 percent discount on economy and business class tickets between Cairo and a number of European destinations.

The company offered discounts on its flights between Cairo and Paris for travel from Jan. 24 to Jan. 29, between Cairo and Amsterdam for travel on Jan. 24, 27 and 29, Cairo and London from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29 and between Cairo and Frankfurt on Jan. 28.

The company announced the continuation of discounts on flights between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Dammam, Jeddah, Madinah and Al-Qassim.

Business class tickets are 35 percent off, and economy class tickets are 25 percent off, with discounts applicable when purchasing tickets until Jan. 31 and traveling until March 15, returning before March 31.

Last Thursday, the state-owned company began applying additional discounts to the price of fuel for the aviation sector, to reach 15 cents per gallon, in support of the tourism sector and to stimulate aviation.

Tourism revenues in Egypt plummeted by more than 69 percent during the last year due largely to the coronavirus disease pandemic, dropping to about $4 billion compared to more than $13 billion in 2019 due to the suspension of air traffic and travel worldwide, and the closure of borders between countries for several months.

Egypt announced an initiative to stimulate domestic tourism under the title “Winter in Egypt,” which relies on reducing the prices of domestic flight tickets.