GOLD STAN­DARD CITY OUTSHINES REST OF IN­DIA

De­mand for the yel­low me­tal on Dhanteras was slug­gish across the coun­try, with Delhi & Mum­bai swim­ming against the cur­rent

Mail Today - - FRONT PAGE - By Smita Ojha and Mustafa Shaikh in New Delhi/Mum­bai

DE­FY­ING an over­all slug­gish pace in the sale of gold across the coun­try and notwith­stand­ing the surge in prices, the Cap­i­tal went on a yel­low me­tal buy­ing spree on the aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sion of Dhanteras on Mon­day.

Gold prices stood at `32,690 per 10 grams on Mon­day in Delhi as against `30,710 per 10 grams on the same day last year. Unaf­fected by this, the coun­try’s busi­ness cap­i­tal

Mum­bai too wit­nessed a de­cent bul­lion trade.

Jew­ellers in Delhi found the foot­falls pro­duc­tive. “We are get­ting a good re­sponse from cus­tomers. Buy­ers from in and around Delhi are com­ing to us. The de­mand for gold coins has in­creased com­par­a­tively. Also, with the mar­riage sea­son ap­proach­ing, we are ex­pect­ing a fur­ther rise in sale,” said Vi­jay Khanna, owner of Khanna Jew­ellers.

Praveen Goel of The Su­nar in Delhi’s Karol Bagh mar­ket echoed the same. “The de­mand for gold has in­creased from the pre­vi­ous years in terms of in­di­vid­ual pur­chases. Peo­ple are tak­ing gold as a se­cure in­vest­ment, and this is the best we are wit­ness­ing af­ter de­mon­eti­sa­tion.”

GOLD DIG­GERS

Buy­ers in the city didn’t seem both­ered by ris­ing prices. “Ev­ery year I buy gold on Dhanteras, no mat­ter what the rates are. I get back more in re­turn than I in­vest,” said Veena, a res­i­dent of Janakpuri.

Gold re­finer MMTC-PAMP In­dia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ra­jesh Khosla said, “There is a gen­eral re­luc­tance to en­ter the mar­ket. Much of our de­mand for coins is from cor­po­rates this time.”

How­ever, in neigh­bour­ing Noida, Dhanteras shop­ping didn’t wit­ness much ex­cite­ment. Seema Gupta, 35, was keen to buy a kun­dan­neck­lace set but had to make do with gold ban­gles this Dhanteras. She said, “Gold is a woman’s best friend, but when the econ­omy is not favourable you have to com­pro­mise.”

San­deep Seth, man­ager at Senco Gold and Di­a­monds in Noida, said, “Last year, we al­most saw Rs 1 crore-plus sales ev­ery day. This time, it is mod­er­ate.”

SALE SHOOTS IN MUM­BAI

Jew­ellers in Mum­bai wit­nessed rise in or­na­ment sales on Dhanteras, mainly due to the up­com­ing wed­ding sea­son. Jew­ellers said high prices have not af­fected the sales. “There is a de­cline in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra as a drought sit­u­a­tion has been an­nounced. Ear­lier, ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra used to wit­ness higher sales, but now ur­ban ar­eas are do­ing equally good busi­ness. Bud­gets are af­fected due to rise in gold prices in the past month, but gold is still a good in­vest­ment for long term. The tra­di­tion of giv­ing gold in wed­dings Mum­bai blamed de­mon­eti­sa­tion has kept the de­mand up,” said for low sales. “Cur­rency is Ku­mar Jain, vice-pres­i­dent of Shri weak, so is the stock ex­change. Mum­bai Gold Jew­ellers As­so­ci­a­tion. Peo­ple don’t have money to spend. Things are not as good

Mum­baikars be­lieve or­na­ments as it used to be be­fore de­mon­eti­sa­tion,” bought on Dhanteras al­ways leads said a jew­eler, not to gains. “What­ever I bought dur­ing want­ing to be named. Dhanteras has dou­bled and All In­dia Gems and Jew­ellery hence I am tak­ing the tra­di­tion Trade Fed­er­a­tion for­ward. I se­lected the or­na­ments (GJF) chair­man Nitin two days in ad­vance, but I will Khan­del­wal termed make pay­ment to­day as it is aus­pi­cious,” the sales mod­er­ate said a Mum­bai shop­per. this year. “Foot­falls How­ever, some jew­ellers in are good, but

sales are mod­er­ate so far. Till a few days back, we were think­ing gold de­mand on the day of Dhanteras would be down 10-15 per cent, but look­ing at the pre-book­ing and foot­falls, there should be least 5-7 per cent jump in sales to­day,” Khan­del­wal told PTI. He added that most buy­ers are re­strict­ing their pur­chase to to­kens.

Sen­ti­ments across the coun­try re­mained low on Mon­day. Jew­ellery shops wore a de­serted look in Chandigarh this Dhanteras. “There is a slump in gold mar­ket this year. Gold prices have gone up and only a few are buy­ing or­na­ments. Ma­jor­ity of peo­ple are now buy­ing 22-karat gold coins,” said Manoj Agar­wal, owner of PC Jew­ellers.

OTHER CITIES

Jaya, who came shop­ping at Sec­tor 22 of the joint cap­i­tal of Haryana and Pun­jab, said, “The im­pact of ris­ing prices can be clearly seen on fes­ti­vals. Dhanteras is also not un­touched.”

Jaipur, the hub for jew­ellery man­u­fac­tur­ing and styling, wit­nessed a pal­pa­ble slump in the mar­ket this Dhanteras. Most shop­keep­ers at­trib­uted this to the pre­vail­ing cash cri­sis in the mar­ket. Talk­ing to In­dia To­day TV, one of the shop­keep­ers said, “On an av­er­age, the sale of gold has nei­ther in­creased nor de­creased but the foot­fall has def­i­nitely re­duced this time. Cash flow is also not there.”

In Chennai, the sheen of the

Many by­ers weren’t both­ered by ris­ing prices

yel­low me­tal was not too bright ei­ther. With Di­wali fall­ing on a Tues­day in the south­ern metro, jew­ellers are not hope­ful of brisk sales. How­ever, lo­cal in­dus­try watch­ers said the mar­ket looks promis­ing with the on­set of the wed­ding sea­son in Jan­uary.

N Anan­tha Pad­man­a­ban, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of NAC Jew­ellers, quipped that light­weight jew­ellery is the flavour of the sea­son. “We are do­ing 25 per cent less busi­ness than what we did last year,” he said.

IT pro­fes­sional Latha Swami­nathan lamented: “We don’t have a habit of buy­ing gold dur­ing Di­wali as it’s not our tra­di­tion. We used to buy gold dur­ing Ak­shaya Tri­tiya, but the in­crease in gold prices is a damp­ener,” she said.

Cus­tomers shop for uten­sils at a mar­ket dur­ing Dhanteras.

QAMAR SIBTAIN

PTI

K ASIF

Buy­ers in the city didn’t seem both­ered by ris­ing prices. How­ever, in neigh­bour­ing Noida, Dhanteras shop­ping didn’t wit­ness much ex­cite­ment.

K ASIF

(Left) A worker sits among Marigold flow­ers at Delhi’s Ghazipur flower mar­ket ahead of Di­wali. An­other rea­son for this year’s preDi­wali cel­e­bra­tions to be marred was the ex­ten­sive smog.

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