World Gold Council aims to push Indians out of real metal into paper


WGC to Launch New Paper Gold in India

From Commodity Online
Ahmedabad, India
Monday, January 18, 2010

MUMBAI -- After tasting success with its campaign to sell gold coins across India's post offices, the World Gold Council is getting ready to launch a new version of gold traded on paper in India. The new form of paper gold, just like the gold ETFs, will be launched in the Indian market in the next few months.

According to WGC India Managing Director Ajay Mitra, India offers tremendous potential not just in the sale of physical gold but in all forms of gold transaction methods. While India has six gold ETFs successfully running and attracting good investments, WGC is talking to a number of players to launch a new version of gold traded on paper.

India is one of largest consumers and importers of the yellow metal in the world. While most Indians prefer buying gold jewellery and gold coins as investment, a large number of investors are now scouting for investment-led gold instruments like ETFs.

"We hope to launch newer paper gold -- gold traded on paper in India -- by June this year. The paper gold will be stored by a custodian, whoever is channelising that venture," Mitra said.

He said India Post, the post services department of the Indian government, could be an ideal partner for the distribution of the new gold ETFs. India Post has partnered with WGC in promoting and selling gold coins across hundreds of post offices in the country.

The WGC official said that the apex gold body has decided to launch the new paper gold in India as consumers have been saying that storing physical gold at their homes is becoming very inconvenient.

The paper gold instrument will help investors and customers in getting rid of storing their precious gold. India Post officials said as per the new initiative, a customer can buy paper gold from any of their branches and keep it as safe investment.

Bullion experts believe that the new paper gold idea from WGC will drive up gold investment demand in India.

"It is going to be a wonderful idea, if a new form of paper gold can be launched in association with WGC in India. I am sure thousands of people will just buy paper gold from post offices instead of physical gold from jewellery shops as investment. This will push up gold demand in India," Kiram Mehta, a bullion analyst in Mumbai, told Commodity Online.

Mehta said different types of paper gold instruments can be launched in India in tieups with broking houses, institutions, and banks. "This is a really big opportunity that can catch up the investor appetite for gold in India," he added.

Across the world, paper claims to physical gold have proliferated during the past two decades.

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