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Chinese investors see golden opportunity

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Biman Mukherji
The Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 28, 2016

The rise in the price of gold -- up 15% from its six-year low in mid-December -- is stoking out-of-season buying in China, which consumes more than a fifth of global supplies.

Typically, gold purchases in China are strongly associated with jewelry buying around the Lunar New Year holiday, which this fell in early February. But the uncertainty confronting global economies has driven up demand from a different sort of buyer -- the hard-nosed investor.

"It has been very, very busy for us in the last few weeks," said Padraig J. Seif, chief executive officer at Finemetal Asia Ltd., a large Hong Kong-based bullion dealer that sold more gold in the first three weeks of March than in all of February.

The biggest jump, Mr. Seif says, has been the 10-fold increase in sales of 250-gram bars, which cost roughly US$10,000. Sales of the 1,000-gram kilobars were up by 50%, with most of the buyers corporate investors rather than jewelry makers. ...

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