Gold glitters as Thais sell jewelry to make ends meet

Gold glitters as Thais sell jewelry to make ends meet
Hundreds of Bangkok residents rushed to goldsmith shops in Chinatown to sell their jewelry as gold prices reached their highest levels since 2012. (AFP)
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Updated 15 April 2020

Gold glitters as Thais sell jewelry to make ends meet

Gold glitters as Thais sell jewelry to make ends meet
  • Price of precious metal spikes as economy tanks during pandemic

BANGKOK: Thais are flocking to Bangkok’s Chinatown to sell their gold jewelry as the price of the precious metal spikes and the economy tanks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold surged to a seven-year high on Tuesday to $1,731.25 an ounce, following global moves led by the US to reinflate economies with trillions of dollars of stimulus measures.

That has boosted the price of gold across the world, tempting many to sell their stocks of the precious metal at a time of economic hardship without recent precedent.

Many Thais buy gold jewelry as an investment in times of plenty, to be sold when prices rise or belts tighten.

In Bangkok, where a virtual lockdown has taken root for a fortnight, hundreds flocked to Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, to trade bracelets, necklaces and rings for cash as local gold prices jumped more than 20 percent.

“I don’t have any savings so I decided to sell the gold I have for cash to keep me afloat during this time,” said Thanakorn Promyuyen, a 39-year-old street vendor.

Traders have bought tens of millions of dollars worth of gold since Tuesday, according to Jitti Tangsitpakdi, a chairman of a trade association.

“One shop bought 200 million baht ($6.1 million) of ornaments and bars,” he said, explaining businesses whose revenue has been strangled by the lockdown are being forced to sell their gold savings.

“Their businesses are in bad shape; better to sell gold and keep cash,” he said.

“In over 60 years I have never seen people queue like this to sell their gold.”

Thailand’s economy is forecast to contract by more than 5 percent this year after the virus shuttered borders — killing the cash cow tourist industry — leaving millions unemployed.

“I don’t have any income, only expenses,” said 43-year-old Aumporn Pansa as he sold his jewelry.

“I have kids to take care of as well as monthly bills, so I had to come here and sell.”


Tadawul slips 0.3%, Anaam Holding falls, SARCO soars

Updated 02 December 2020

Tadawul slips 0.3%, Anaam Holding falls, SARCO soars

Tadawul slips 0.3%, Anaam Holding falls, SARCO soars
  • Tadawul All Share Index falls to below 8,700 points, turnover at $3.14bn

Saudi equities extended their losses, with benchmark Tadawul All Share Index (TASI) slipping 0.3 percent, or 28 points, to close at 8,694 points on Wednesday.

Total turnover reached SAR 11.8 billion ($3.14 billion), with advance-decline ratio at 52:131.

The shares of Almarai Co., Saudi Telecom Co., Riyadh Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Yansab and Zain Saudi ended trading today with declines between 1 percent and 2 percent.

Anaam Holding was the top decliner as it went limit down to SAR 154.20. The Securities Depository Center Co. (Edaa) deposited today, Dec. 2, the subscribed securities of Anaam International Holding Group to the accounts of eligible securities' holders.

On the other hand, SARCO went limit up to SAR 105.6 amid trading volume of 6.3 million shares.

Al-Omran shares recorded their highest close since listing, rising 10 percent to SAR 108.8.

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