Romanian lender Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) has brokered around 500 kg, worth around EUR 21 million, of gold transactions for clients so far in 2012. The average value, by weight, of the most important gold deals made in the first nine months of this year was 40 kg per transaction, or EUR 1.7 million.
BCR has offered private banking customers the financial grade gold buying and selling services since 2009. The gold is 99.99 percent pure and is traded in ingots. Last year, BCR sold 1,277 kg of gold, worth around EUR 48 million at last year’s gold prices.
The bank has seen exponential growth in private customers investing in gold, according to head of private banking at BCR Răzvan Furtună, who added that gold is going from being a reserve used by the central bank to a popular asset for individual clients.
The relative stability of gold prices has historically made gold a safe investment, unlikely to be hit by economic fluctuations. “Given the current conditions of serious problems in the global financial markets, more and more investors are turning to gold,” said Head of Retail Treasury Products of BCR Laura Hexane. Gold prices have increased significantly since the financial crisis in 2008; going from around EUR 16,000 per kilogram in 2007 to over EUR 40,000 per kilogram this year.
Liam Lever, email@example.com
photo source: sxc.hu