Gold Sales to Europe Jump on Crisis


The Greek sovereign-debt crisis triggered a flight to haven investments.

Gold sales to Europe from the Perth Mint surged in May as the Greek sovereign-debt crisis triggered a flight to haven investments, draining stockpiles at the producer of 6% of the world's bullion.

Buyers from the continent accounted for 69 percent of gold- coin purchases last month compared with 51 percent a year ago, said Ron Currie, sales and marketing director. Individual German investors also bought silver, seeking to protect their wealth with "poor man's gold," Currie said from Western Australia.

Greece's fiscal crisis roiled financial markets worldwide, driving the euro lower. Gold reached a record in May as sovereign-debt risks escalated. The mint is working at full capacity with 20 percent more staff than a year ago, Currie said.

"As soon as it was announced the European Commission was bailing out Greece, the German population decided they'd better hedge their euros by buying precious metals," Currie said in an interview yesterday. "We had stock before this blip in the market, then it all went."

Spot gold traded at $1,205.94 an ounce at 9:54 a.m. in Singapore today compared with last month's record of $1,249.40 and $1,096.95 at the end of last year. The precious metal has gained for nine straight years. Silver, which peaked this year at $19.8275 an ounce on May 13, traded today at $17.9425.

Related Articles

Get Our Streetwise Reports Newsletter Free

A valid email address is required to subscribe