RANGOON — The price of gold has reached a record high in Burma this week, pushed up by rising global gold prices, industry sources said.
The local price for one tical, a traditional Burmese weight measurement equal to 16.33 grams (just over a half ounce), reached 812,000 kyats (US$685) early this week, up from last year’s 800,000 kyat peak. Industry sources said the increase was due to global gold prices reaching about US$1,300 per ounce.
“It isn’t because of higher demand in the local market; actually, demand here is cooling down. But the price still peaked last Thursday,” said Kyaw Win, secretary of the Myanmar Gold Entrepreneur’s Association and owner of U Htone Goldsmith.
Gold dealers said that the higher price has caused the domestic gold market to wane as people wait to see what will happen.
“There isn’t a low production of gold, but the sales volume is decreasing. People think that the price is high and this is not a good time to invest,” Kyaw Win said.
Kyaw Win anticipates that the price won’t decrease until the end of the month due to concerns about a British exit from the European Union.
Zaw Aung, owner of Tate Sein gold shop in Rangoon’s Kyauktada Township said although the dollar currency exchange rate is stable, the global gold price is increasing, directly impacting the local gold market.
“Gold shops are facing low demand while people wait for the price to go down,” Zaw Aung said.
After a sharp increase in 2012 when the global price reached about $1,900 per ounce, the local price floated around 680,000 kyats per tical until late May of this year. Before reaching its record high, the price for one tical was about 770,000 kyats last month.
Gold remains a traditional and trusted investment in Burma. Investors say that the gold market is still a means to make money in a short time, while the stock market and real estate market have cooled down during the country’s transition period.
Because people have faith in it, the gold market will remain the investment of choice for people in Burma, Kyaw Win said.