Wed, May 08, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Indian jewelers cut prices to spur sales on gold-buying day

Bloomberg

Jewelers in India are lining up discounts to entice consumers on the second-biggest gold-buying day in the Hindu calendar.

Hindus purchase valuables including gold and silver on Akshaya Tritiya, which this year was yesterday, in the belief that it will bring luck and prosperity.

That faith, coupled with discounts and an about 7 percent drop in prices from an over five-year high in February, is underpinning expectations for brisk sales.

Retailers like Malabar Gold and Diamonds are offering as much as 50 percent off on jewelry-making charges, while Tata Group’s Titan Co is giving a discount of up to 25 percent.

The charges vary from store to store and city to city, and can contribute as much as 10 percent to the total cost of an ornament.

Others are giving freebies, such as Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers, which said that it is giving away gold coins for free to some customers.

“Lower prices are expected to be a key trigger in pushing sales on a higher trajectory,” Malabar Gold and Diamonds chairman M.P. Ahammed said in a statement.

“There are reports of robust pre-Akshaya Tritiya sales in the markets. A higher sales volume is expected as compared with last year and in percentage terms, we can expect sales growth of around 15 to 20 percent,” he said.

Gold demand in India is picking up after slow sales in the past couple of years as higher prices and government curbs to crack down on unaccounted wealth weighed on the sector.

Sales in the second-biggest gold-buying nation could be boosted this quarter because of traditional wedding season purchases, the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya festival and rising crop prices, the World Gold Council said last week.

People profiting from the equity market will also turn toward gold to diversify their portfolio, boosting demand for the precious metal, said digital gold platform Augmont, which is offering buyers opting for home delivery of their gold purchases an equal amount of silver free during the festival.

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