Gold Bouncing Off its Second Bottom

A great nation can stand a lot of ruining... - Rick Rule


Hong Kong named top financial center for second year

According to Reuters, Hong Kong was named the world's top financial center for the second year running by the World Economic Forum (WEF), thanks to the strength of its business environment, infrastructure and a favorable tax regime.



China Silver Demand to Climb to Record in 2013

Silver demand in China, the world’s second-largest user, is set to jump as much as 10 percent next year to a record as investors look to preserve wealth, according to Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.

Consumption may climb to 7,700 metric tons after gaining 6 percent to 8 percent in 2012, Shi Heqing, an analyst at Beijing Antaike, said in an interview on Oct. 22. About 33 percent of the country’s demand comes from jewelry and coins, with the rest from industrial use in photography, solar and electrical appliances, according to Antaike, which has studied metals for two decades.

Investors in China are buying more silver as the second- largest economy slowed for a seventh quarter, the Shanghai Composite Index is heading for a third straight annual drop and property curbs are limiting prices. Silver climbed 15 percent this year and holdings by exchange traded funds gained 6.5 percent this year after touching 592 million ounces last week.

“Chinese investors want hard assets such as silver, especially when it’s cheaper than gold and requires less funding,” Shi said. “Many producers and investors have hoarded the precious metal in the form of ingots or unwrought silver.”

Silver rose 53 percent in the Federal Reserve’s first round of quantitative easing from December 2008 through March 2010, twice as much as gold, and 24 percent during the second phase ending in June 2011, three times as much. The U.S. central bank announced a third round of QE on Sept. 13. Silver will probably beat gold in the next several quarters, Morgan Stanley (MS) predicts.


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Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand still ‘easiest’ for doing business

Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand continue to be the easiest countries in the world to do business in, while local entrepreneurs in developing nations are finding it easier to do business than at any time in the last 10 years, according to the World Bank and IFC's latest Doing Business report.


The improvement in the ease with which people are saying they are able to do business in the world’s developing countries highlights “the significant progress that has been made in improving business regulatory practices across the globe”, according to a summary of the 282-page report’s findings.

The study looks at 185 countries, and examines such indicators as how long it takes to start a business, and how difficult and time consuming it is to submit tax returns, export or import goods, obtain credit and register a property.



Over 500 ultra-luxury cars registered in Macau

A total of 524 ultra-luxury cars are registered in Macau, of which 480 are for private use.
According to official data collected by Portuguese news agency Lusa, Bentley is the most popular luxury car brand in Macau, with 181 vehicles.
In second place comes Rolls-Royce, with 127 cars.
There are also 70 Ferraris, all owen by private users, 46 Lamborghinis, 78 Maseratis and 22 Maybachs.

HSBC survey reveals decline in wealth growth among Hong Kong investors

One in five Hong Kong investors has seen their net worth decline over the past six months, a survey conducted by HSBC has found.



The survey found 19% of “Hong Kongers” reported their net worth decreased in 2012, compared to 11% during the same period in 2011, according to the HSBC Hong Kon Wealth Tracker survey, which was based on interviews of some 1,600 individuals aged between 18 and 65.

The results of this survey, which focussed on attitudes among regular Hong Kong residents, contrasts with those of another just-released HSBC survey, that of the bank’s Expat operation, which – as reported today – found that 79% of expats surveyed who currently live in Hong Kong said they had seen “an increase in disposable income since moving to the country”.


‘More cautious’

Perhaps not surprisingly in an environment in which many are seeing their net worth declining, the HSBC survey residents also revealed that many ordinary Hong Kong investors have become more cautious in their investments.

On average, these investors are keeping 60% of their liquid assets in cash, the survey found, with a majority of respondents (77%) saying that they intend to accumulate more cash, compared to only 61% who expressed the same intention last year.

Meanwhile, although these investors say they are “keen” to prepare for retirement and fight inflation – the top financial goals cited by 43% and 41% of all the investors surveyed, respectively – they are taking a “wait-and-see attitude” when it comes to wealth management, the HSBC researchers found.

Eric Fu, HSBC’s head of wealth development for Hong Kong, retail banking and wealth management, said the results revealed that people “in general are lacking confidence to invest in the market”, in response to the “continued economic uncertainty arising from various global events, such as the Euro crisis, dampened US growth and shrinking GDP in Hong Kong”.


Older investors worried about retirement

Those Hong Kong residents over 50 years of age revealed a greater concern about retirement than their younger counterparts, with more than half of respondents that age and over citing “saving for retirement” as their top financial goal.

“Only 12% of investors consider early retirement as one of their top three financial goals”, HSBC said, in a summary of the survey’s findings, “while nearly seven in ten (68%) respondents worry that they do not have sufficient time to prepare financially for retirement.”






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