Monday, January 23, 2012
Pop down to the Old Gold Souk in Deira, part of the modern city of Dubai and the hottest selling item is a 1kg bar of silver these days.
Karachi Jewellers told ArabianMoney yesterday they are selling 600 to 700 of these $1,300 bars each month with a 4.1 per cent profit margin.
More profitable than gold
‘It is far more profitable to trade silver than gold where the margin is much smaller,’ said director Ejaz Ilyas in a video to be broadcast on this website tomorrow.
‘We get a lot of passing tourists who buy 1kg silver bars. I was born in Dubai and spent most of my professional life in London but business is better here now. Even a modest shop in this souk does well.’
Not far from the Old Gold Souk is the ultra-modern terminus for cruise liners. Almost a million passengers visited Dubai last year and many find their way to the famous Dubai gold souks where gold and silver are sold untaxed. The only country in Europe not to charge tax on silver is Estonia. Cruise ships also call in there too.
In the Old Gold Souk the customers come from all over the world. Chinese and Russian buyers are prominent though Arab buyers from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are probably still the biggest spenders. This is the month of the famous Dubai Shopping Festival so the gold souks are particularly busy.
Mr Ilyas said he thought the price of silver would be $58-60 by September, a spectacular gain on the price of $32 an ounce on the day of our visit. His reasoning is that the shift from paper money to real assets will benefit silver more than gold.
‘Metal prices are always volatile,’ he cautioned. ‘However, you can see where people are putting their money now.’
Eurozone money printing
There is also a school of thought in the souk that reckons the outcome of the eurozone crisis will be more money printing by the ECB whatever happens to Greece, and that this will propel dollar-denominated silver and gold to much higher prices.
Of course there is always the liklihood of a short-term set back for silver in a big market sell-off. However, the shiniest of metals is off to a good start with the price up 13 per cent since the New Year, comfortably outperforming any other investment class.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Have you seen the recent commercials the World Wildlife Fund WWF has on TV soliciting money to "Save the Polar Bears"? After seeing the commercial for the twentieth time last night, I started thinking and decided to send the WWF a question.
See below my email to them:
I recently saw a commercial you're running to solicit donations to save the polar bear and by extention their habitat.I like polar bears as much as the next person, so my question is quite simple. Precisely how much money do you need to stop the polar caps from melting and thereby save the white bear?
I'm understandably curious about your financial plans as I'm unaware of any technology that is currently available to a non-profit like the WWF that could effectively stop and reverse the current natural or possibly man-made climatic change. With millions of dollars of donations you could probably gather some bears and put them in zoos or other controlled enclosures, but it wasn't my impression that your plans were following along these realistic and achievable lines.
Unfortunately, the polar bear is a specialist adapted to a very unstable environment and dependent on a single source of food. It needs the ice to hang around most of the year so that it can hunt fat seals. No ice means no seals for lunch, and that means starving and dead bears. Unless you can stop the melting ice, you can't save the wild polar bear. No amount of donated money can change this simple equation. As a result, our best scientific estimates place the bear's probable extinction within 100 years.
In fact, I have every reason to believe that the WWF will most likely outlive the polar bear. Perhaps your donation efforts are really all about insuring the survival of your organization, and not the arctic bear?