Gold retains its glitter on Akshaya Tritiya

Monday, 27 April 2009, 12:42 Hrs
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New Delhi:Despite the high cost of the yellow metal and the slowdown, people bought gold jewellery in large numbers Monday on Akshaya Tritiya, considered an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar for buying long-term assets like gold, silver and real estate.

Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Baisakh (April-May), when the Sun and Moon are believed to be in exalted positions and are simultaneously at the peak of brightness, which happens only once every year.

"Sales are very good even this year. This is more than we expected," said Sanjeev Thakur, showroom manager of Mehrasons Jewellers in the national capital.

And while jewellers have put on offer various options like jewellery, bars, medallions and coins, customers are opting for jewellery.

"Even with lots of options available, people are mostly buying gold jewellery. We are expecting more volumes by late evening," Thakur said.

Added Pawan Gupta, director of Delhi-based PP Jewellers: "The number of people buying gold are the same as last year. However, because of the high price, the volume has gone down."

According to Dharmesh Sodha of the World Gold Council, the outlook was very positive. "As per the reports across the country, sales are very good this year. The value of the total transaction in rupee terms will go up this year as compared to last year, though volumes will go down."

Anjali Sahu, a software engineer who bought a gold chain this year, said it's a tradition that she followed ritually; last year, she had bought one gold bangle.

Like her, Paroma De Sharma, a research scholar too believes in buying gold jewellery on Akshaya Tritiya. "It is a tradition that I follow every year. And more than that, I could not wait for a better opportunity, and wait endlessly for prices to come down. Who knows whether prices will go up or go down?"

Sales in Mumbai too seem to have been buoyant. "Response has been very good, better than what was anticipated considering the recessionary trends, the high prices of gold this year, the elections and the holiday season," said S.V. Shrikrishna, a jeweller in north Mumbai.

In Chennai, though, the mood was sombre, with executives at leading jewellers saying sales cannot be compared to last year's. Said V.S. Mani, administrative head at Prince Jewellery: "Last year, Askshaya Tritiya was celebrated over two days. Gold was also cheaper, today it is 1,381 per gram."

To meet the slowdown, Mani's firm is offering a discount of 50 per gram.

Like him, Kishore Paramasivam, chief operating officer at Kirtilal Kalidas Jewellers said higher gold prices this year had hit sales.

However, overall, the industry was happy. "Given all factors, people have thronged to buy gold today. I have got similar reports from across the country," said a beaming Ashok Minawala, president of the All India Gems and Jewellery Traders Federation.

Minawala said while it would take a few days to compute the all-India figures, he expected to "come very close to last year's sale" - nine tonnes on a single day.

"At worst, we may fall short of around 10 percent of last year's figures," Minawala said. "Last year, the price of gold was around 12,000 per 10 grams on Akshaya Tritiya; this year it is around 20 percent higher."
Source: IANS
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