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Syrians, Egyptians and Iranians emerge among top gold buyers in the Dubai Shopping Festival

 -- Published: Monday, 13 January 2014 | Print  | Disqus 

By Peter Cooper

Dubai’s gold and jewellery merchants told Gulf News that they have tapped a new seam of customers at this year’s Dubai Shopping Festival with Arab buyers from Syria, Egypt and Iran now far more important to the market.

They said this trend started back in November but has been particularly evident since January 2nd and the promotions of the DSF.. The Old Gold Souk is festooned with promotional banners for jewellery and gold bars and coins have largely disappeared from window displays as ArabianMoney noted on a visit last week.

22-carat gold

The new buyers favour 22-carat gold, perhaps indicating a preference for easily tradeable metal. Traders said they seemed to be buying as a hedge against uncertainties in the economies of their home countries with gold a traditional safe haven asset.

Gold prices also appear to have bottomed out at $1,200 an ounce and that is encouraging some bargain hunters hoping for a rebound in prices this year. The ArabianMoney investment newsletter (subscribe here) is among those local forecasters expecting such a recovery.

Traders said there was also a shift from cash to credit cards to fund gold purchases as people were buying larger quantities.

Currency depreciation

Anybody who has watched the currency depreciation in Syria, Egypt and Iran over the past couple of years can understand why nationals of these countries would want to own gold as a far more reliable store of value. Both the Iranian and Eygptian economies have recently picked up albeit from low bases and the future outlook remains uncertain. Syria remains mired in civil war.

Will these buyers at least get some protection from gold in the near future? They certainly seem to think so.

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 -- Published: Monday, 13 January 2014 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source:

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