A woman looks at gold ornaments at a jewellery showroom in Kolkata. File/Reuters
The latest tranche of India’s Sovereign Gold Bonds 2020-21 will be opened for a period from March 1 to 5, 2021. The issue price of the bond during the subscription period will be Rs4,662 per gramme.
The settlement date under the Series XII scheme had been fixed for March 9. The government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to allow discount of Rs50 per gramme from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode. For such investors the issue price of Gold Bond will be Rs4,612 per gramme of gold.
The new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGB) will open for subscription on Monday. Investors can invest in SGBs through their Demat accounts or via online banking. The country’s top lender State Bank of India (SBI) provide the option of buying SGBs online.
SBI said: “Get returns and safety together; 6 golden reasons to invest in Sovereign Gold Bonds. SBI customers can directly invest in INB under e-services.”
Demand for gold among Indian consumers is likely to recover in 2021 on the back of the lower import duty among other announcements made in the Union Budget for FY22, said a World Gold Council (WGC) report.
Apart from reducing the import duty on gold, the government also proposed to authorise the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as regulator for domestic gold spot exchanges. The budget also proposed establishment of welfare schemes for rural areas designed to boost incomes, which according to WGC would indirectly help revive the gold market.
“We believe India’s gold market will not only benefit from these reforms but will also indirectly benefit from the various rural welfare schemes announced in the budget. With a revival in the economy and these positive budget announcements, Indian gold demand looks set to recover in 2021 from its 2020 lows,” it said.
It noted that a lower customs duty may also increase the headwind for gold smuggling. Unofficial imports fell by a whopping 80 per cent in 2020, to 20-25 tonne, due to logistical disruptions caused by COVID-19, and may be further impacted in 2021 with ongoing flight restrictions and lower customs duty.
With import costs falling, official inflows in 2021 could be spurred, said the report. Lower customs duty and recovering demand may allow official imports to gain strength at the cost of unofficial imports, although the 14.07 per cent duty continues to make the grey market attractive, it said.
Further, as per WGC, the gold industry in India has reacted positively to the recent budget announcements.
“Rumours had previously been circulating that customs duty on gold might be increased rather than decreased. Consequently, the lower import duty is viewed as a boost to gold demand and a headwind for unofficial imports,” it said.
A sharp rise in global demand for non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium and zinc along with their products have aided India’s engineering exports through the COVID-19 pandemic, an EEPC India analysis showed on Saturday.
Global demand for gold plummeted 14 per cent in 2020 to an 11-year low of 3,759.6 tonne, showed the the World Gold Council’s latest ‘Gold Demand Trends’ report. It was the first time since 2009 that gold demand plunged below the 4,000 tonne mark.
The stock markets took a beating, gold, silver and oil prices zoomed in India. Oil prices are already on the rise in India, which imports over 80 per cent of its requirements. Iraq is the largest crude supplier to India.
The government has initiated the process of borrowing with the launch of sovereign gold bonds in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the current financial.
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