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Get this: Indians have Rs 66 lakh crore worth of gold, reveals wealth report

Puneet Wadhwa / New Delhi 15 Dec 16 | 02:00 PM

Gold bars

Indians have an insatiable appetite for gold, and the latest report by Karvy Wealth Management reinforces this fact. While the individual wealth in physical assets, according to Karvy’s India Wealth Report 2016, stood at Rs 132-lakh crore having grown at a brisk pace of 10.32% in FY16 compared to a 2% decline in FY15, individual wealth in gold stood at Rs 65.90-lakh crore – nearly half the share of physical assets! This has grown nearly 15.41% from Rs 57.1-lakh crore in FY15.

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According to agency reports, on Thursday, gold prices fell sharply by Rs 295 to Rs 27,292 per 10 grams in futures trade today as participants cut their bets amid a weak global trend. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold prices for delivery in February next year fell by Rs 295, or 1.07 per cent, to Rs 27,292 per 10 grams, in a business turnover of 641 lots.

Going ahead, Karvy expects the next bull-run in gold prices by 2021, where the levels of $3000/ounce looks like an achievable target. However, in the immediate term, progress on the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) bill is a key monitorable, Karvy says.

Currently, gold purchases (jewellery) are taxed at 11.5% (10% import duty plus 1 – 1.5% value added tax). While a rate of 4 – 6% is being mooted under the GST regime, taxing it under the standard rate would probably have a positive impact on demand.

World Gold Council, on the other hand, expects India's gold demand to fall as much as 24% in 2016 to the lowest level in seven years due to higher prices and increased smuggling as the government seeks to bring transparency to bullion purchases.

India's gold demand in the first three quarters of 2016, according to estimates, fell 29% from a year ago to 441.2 tonnes, hit by price rises and government moves such as the mandatory disclose of tax code for high-value jewellery purchases.

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