Gold dealers in Hong Kong are expecting to make big profits following last week's rapid rise in the free market price of the metal.
GV & PAN Street TO jeweller's shop in Hong Kong
SV Sign over jewellers
SV & PAN Cases of gold jewellery and ornaments in shop window (3 shots)
CU Gold bracelets in window
SV Gold tiger in display case
CU Man weighing gold bracelet
SV & PULL BACK FROM Jewellery in case
SV Woman at counter trying on bracelets
CU Assistant unlocks bracelet for girl to try
Initials BB/2150 NPJ/CD/BB/2158
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Background: Gold dealers in Hong Kong are expecting to make big profits following last week's rapid rise in the free market price of the metal. The increase was sparked off after the Vice President of the European Economic Community, Mr. Wilhelm Haferkamp, appealed to the Common Market's financial leaders to agree on a higher price for gold held in their official reserves, than the present unrealistic rate of 42.22 U.S. dollars an ounce.
It was the first time that a leader of the E.E.C. had publicly stated that gold should find its own price level. Undoubtedly the rising price of oil was responsible for prompting Mr. Haferkamp's statement.
Hong Kong dealers were therefore anticipating the local gold price to soar upwards when the colony's bullion markets opened on Monday (28 January). The colony has a reputation as a centre for smuggling gold into Korea, Indonesia, the Middle East and India. This reputation was given a boost a few weeks ago, when the Hong Kong Government scrapped all import and export restrictions on the movement of gold. Government officials are apparently unaware of any such illegal activities, and they regard the new regulations as a purely administrative measure.
On Friday (25 January) the free market price of gold in Europe shot up to a near record level of 141.50 U.S. dollars an ounce.
SYNOPSIS: In Hong Kong, dealers in gold have been made very happy by the recent increase in the price of oil. The energy crisis has given a boost to the price of gold on the free market, and even on the official markets, gold is holding its value while most world currencies decline. In Europe on Friday, the free market price was almost a record.
Hong Kong's gold dealings were also given added impetus a few weeks ago when the Vice President of the European Economic Community said that European financial leaders should agree on a higher official rate against the United States dollar.
Hong Kong has long been regarded as a centre for smuggling gold, and this reputation was enhanced recently when the Government scrapped all import and export restrictions on the movement of the metal.