World Gold Council, ICBC Launch Gift Gold Bar

Source:

"Rapid growth in China's gold retail market inspires first 'gold-investment gifting product.'"

The World Gold Council and ICBC Tuesday launched the Only Gold Gift Bar in China, which the Gold Council says should further boost the already-growing gold market in the country.

A news release from the Gold Council described the new product as the first "gold-investment gifting product" in China.

The gold retail investment market in China grew rapidly during 2010 to over 170 metric tons. With the new product, the market is expected to grow further by another 10% to 15%, the Gold Council said.

The product consists of bars weighing 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1000 grams, and are engraved with "Fu" (joy). The price is fixed based on the real-time gold price at the Shanghai Gold Exchange. When customers wish to capitalize on the investment, bars can be converted back into cash through ICBC.

"Gold enjoys a prestigious status with Chinese consumers due to its unique features and association with Chinese tradition," said Roland Wang, director and general manager at the World Gold Council in China. "In recent years, the giving of gold as a gift has become an emerging trend, usually manifesting itself through jewelry. We have created the Only Gold Gift Bar to enable recipients to benefit from gold's wealth-preservation properties as well, and we believe that this product will create a new niche segment in the market."

The Only Gold Gift Bar is another innovation resulting from a strategic partnership between ICBC and the World Gold Council. It follows the launch of the Gold Accumulation Plan (GAP) last year, currently accounting for over 1 million account holders.

The Only Gold Gift Bar is produced with traditional Swiss smelting technology, said Zhou Ming, deputy head of ICBC Precious Metals department. The gold bars contain 99.99% fine gold.

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