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Gold bullion sales swell 35pc on Akshaya Tritiya

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

May 8, 2019-

Gold lovers mobbed Kathmandu’s bullion stores on Tuesday and bought Rs175 million worth of the precious metal to mark the festival of Akshaya Tritiya. Buying gold on the auspicious occasion, which falls on the third day of the lunar month, is believed to bring good fortune, and people save to splurge on this special day.

The gold rush caused the day’s sales to soar 35 percent higher than usual, bullion dealers said. Despite the scramble, sales were down 15 percent year-on-year. Tej Ratna Shakya, former president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association, said a shortage of the yellow metal led to the drop in sales this year.

Sales would have swelled by more than 50 percent if there was sufficient supply, he said. The central bank allows commercial banks to import 20 kg of gold per day to sell in the domestic market. During peak season, banks are allowed to import 5 kg extra daily.

Shakya said gold sales exceeded 50 kg on Akshaya Tritiya last year, when the precious metal cost around Rs50,000 per tola. Demand increases in the market due to occurrence of special days, he said. Customers buy both gold bullion and jewellery during the festival. Normal daily sales during the wedding season amount to 20 kg. Gold was traded at Rs59,500 per tola on Tuesday.

Anjana Koirala, 46, from Dhumbarahi bought a Rs40,000 gold ring on New Road to celebrate the auspicious day. Koirala said she read on social media that buying gold during the festival would bring good luck, so she went out to buy a ring.

Dharmendra Pathak, salesperson at JJ Jeweller, Basantapur, New Road, said the number of customers rose significantly compared to normal days due to Akshaya Tritiya. Customers said that Akshaya Tritiya was a good day to buy precious metals like Dhanteras during the Tihar festival, Pathak added. He said that customers snapped up all kinds of gold jewellery on the occasion.

Published: 08-05-2019 08:26

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