Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Turkish choppers over Syria
According to other sources, some Iranian, Turkish military helicopters are infiltrating northern Syria on reconnaissance missions. Arab sources report NATO is planning to fly extra troops from Spanish and Germany bases to the Izmir Air base in western Turkey to expand the current number of 400. Damascus accuses Turkey of seeking to seize Syrian territory on the pretext of providing a buffer zone for Syrian refugees.
Indian imports of gold and silver up 222%
The import of gold and silver by India has risen by a whopping 222% between April and May 2011, as compared to a year ago. In the month of May alone, imports were a staggering $9 billion, with gold demand growing 25%.
"Even as inflation and a widening trade deficit to $15 billion in May continues to weigh on the minds of Indian investors, the demand for fresh gold has continued to grow. This is very confusing, especially when one sees it against the backdrop of a 400% rise in the value of the rupee over the last decade,'' said bullion analyst Anand Patnaik with a brokerage firm.
Imports of gold and silver were at $8.96 billion in May, a growth of 500% over the previous month and 222% over last year.
"Rapid inflation is eroding the earnings of the common man. One has to understand how the import of gold has reached $9 billion for a month, while the yearly average is around $22 billion,'' said Sudhir Chakraborty, bullion analyst at Standard Chartered bank.
"The gold story is puzzling,'' added financial analyst A S Kirolar. "Consumers are shying away from stocks and bonds and heading to safe assets like gold and real estate, but one cannot understand this given the meagre 12% growth in imports of petroleum and oil products.''.....read in full
PBOC issues more commemorative coins to meet soaring demands
PBOC said the maximum circulation of the one-ounce gold coins with a face value of 500 yuan (77.3 U.S. dollars) will be raised to 500,000 from 300,000 previously set at the end of last year.
The maximum circulation of four other gold coins with different gold purity and face values ranging from 20 yuan to 200 yuan will increase to 600,000 each set from the previous 200,000.
Also, the maximum issuance of one-ounce silver coins with a face value of 10 yuan each will double to 6 million from the previous 3 million, according to PBOC. Chinese investors have rushed to buy precious metals this year to hedge against rising inflation, where the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, shot up to 5.5 percent year-on-year in May. The CPI rose 5 percent in the first quarter and 5.3 percent in April.
The benchmark interest rate of one-year deposits stood at 3.25 percent after the central bank raised the interest rate twice this year to curb inflation.
In contrast, the price of gold has so far risen by about 9.4 percent from the end of last year, making precious metals more attractive to investors.