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Traders gear up for gold sale on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya

Gold ETFs have been getting popular in urban pockets over the last few years as there are 14 gold ETFs being traded at the exchanges and the quantum of investment in these instruments is almost doubling annually.

BT Online Bureau | April 24, 2012 | Updated 13:39 IST

Jewellers said buying activity would pick up pace on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya day on Tuesday and gold sales is expected to rise 5 per cent to about 15 tonnes as compared to last year, despite its prices touching a two-month high.

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Like jewellers and banks, stock exchanges are also ready to welcome customers who want to invest in gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Though traditionally, families buy physical gold on Dhanteras and Akshaya Tritiya, gold ETFs have been getting popular in urban pockets over the last few years due to many advantages. The BSE and the NSE have decided to extend gold ETF trading hours till 8 pm for sale of gold in paperless electronic form on Akshaya Tritiya. The exchanges have also waived off transaction charges for all trades done in gold ETFs for the day.

There are 14 gold ETFs being traded at the exchanges and the quantum of investment in these instruments is almost doubling annually, said experts. "The trend of investing in gold ETFs is catching up. People are considering it as a diversified tool along with stocks," said V.K. Sharma, head, private broking and wealth management, HDFC Securities.

Delhi Bullion and Jewellers Merchants Association projected gold sales across the country to touch about 15 tonnes.

This is 5 per cent more than the last Akshaya Tritiya, a day in the Hindu calendar which is considered auspicious for buying the precious metal.

"This may generate revenue worth Rs 4,000 crore, 15 per cent more than the last time," association's President Vimal Goyal said.

While the bullion giant MMTC is expecting to sell the yellow metal worth Rs 10 crore at its ongoing gold exhibition here on Akshaya Tritiya, the Department of Posts has offered a six per cent discount on purchase of gold coins from its select outlets on Tuesday.

Colin Shah, MD and CEO of Kama Schachter, said demand for the precious metal this year is likely to increase by 25 per cent as there has been a steady rise in demand, despite the rising prices.

It is believed that any new venture or asset creation on Akshaya Tritiya also known as 'Akha Teej' brings in good luck, growth and prosperity. Apart from major buyers, people also undertake token buying of gold.

Traders said demand for the ongoing marriage season and shifting of investor's funds from stocks to bullion also supported the uptrend.

However, Delhi Jewellers and Goldsmith Association stated there is hesitancy in buying this year due to high prices.

"There is hardly any demand for gold this time due to high prices and only little buying is taking place for marriage purposes," Delhi Jewellers and Goldsmith Association President Ram Avtar Verma said.

India, the world's biggest consumer of gold , imported 967 tonnes of gold in 2011.

With PTI and Mail Today inputs

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