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  • Apr 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:01pm
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WEALTH

Gold favoured by rich as inflation hedge

Deutsche Bank unit says the mega-rich are increasingly attracted to the precious metal

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2012, 2:27am

More wealthy people are buying gold to protect their wealth from the risk of rising inflation after central banks boosted stimulus, according to Deutsche Bank's asset and wealth-management unit.

"Gold has historically been considered to be a store of value and an inflation hedge and increasingly it is being utilised as a monetary instrument," Mark Smallwood, head of Asia-Pacific wealth-management, said. "There is a growing interest among our clients to gain exposure."

Gold has increased in value every year of the past 12, and immediate-delivery gold is trading at about US$1,770 an ounce.

"With the movements by the central banks globally in the past few weeks, there is considerable investor concern as to the long-term effects of the liquidity infusions," Smallwood said. "As a result of that, private clients are concerned about the possible future effects of inflation and the means of hedging that risk."

The Bank of Japan said last week it would expand a fund to buys assets following the United States Federal Reserve's move to buy US$40 billion of mortgage-backed securities a month.

Beijing also has approved infrastructure plans and the European Central Bank gave details this month of a programme to buy debt of member states.

"For our ultra-high-net-worth clients, and a growing number of our high-net-worth clients who have significant liquidity, they are becoming increasingly concerned to have at least some of their exposure to this asset class in the form of allocated physical bullion itself, rather than the indirect exposure that an over-the-counter product offers," Smallwood said.

Clients could store gold in Malca-Amit Global's vault at Singapore, Smallwood said. Malca Amit, which holds assets for banks and individuals, was doubling its space in Singapore, the company said in February.

Gold would climb to US$2,400 in 2014 if the Fed's latest easing lasted until then, Bank of America said last week, while Deutsche Bank predicted prices would exceed US$2,000 in the first half of next year.

Billionaire investors George Soros and John Paulson increased their stakes in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold- backed exchange-traded product, in the second quarter, filings showed.

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