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Tag: Asian Appetite

Gold Horses Boost Chinese Jewelers as Bullion Slumps

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gsr-652496At a shopping mall in western Beijing, Jiang Xue points to a rectangular gold pendant inscribed with a galloping horse and hands half her monthly salary to Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd.

The 42-year-old accountant is one of millions of consumers in the world’s most-populous nation purchasing gifts this week for holidays starting tomorrow that mark a change in the Chinese zodiac calendar from the snake to the year of the horse.

Jiang’s $690 present for her mother is helping to fuel sales at Hong Kong-basedChow Tai Fook that surged 26 percent in the three months through December, while the biggest annual gold-price drop since 1981 reduced the cost of making jewelry, coins and bars. The retailer’s shares advanced 54 percent from a record low in June, outperforming benchmark Chinese equity indexes, and 21 of 29 analysts rate the company a buy.

“Older people believe gold brings good fortune and keeps its value,” said Jiang, who left in search of another store because the small horse charms she wanted for her nieces and nephews were sold out. “Gold gifts for children teach them about investment from a young age.”

While last year’s price rout helped erase $73.4 billion globally from the value of exchange-traded funds backed by gold, demand is rising in China. The metal is a traditional store of wealth in the world’s second-largest economy, and after prices fell, those with few investment alternatives took it as an opportunity to snatch up bars, coins and jewelry.

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