UK ships gold to Switzerland in Asian rush

DURING the first half of this year alone, the UK exported 797 tonnes of gold to Switzerland, far outstripping the 72 tonnes traded in the whole of last year.

The value of the gold exported between January and June was around £25bn, and the Macquarie Group believe that is being sold to satisfy soaring demand for physical gold in Asia. The bank predicts the gold is going from exchange-traded funds in the UK to Switzerland where it is refined and melted into jewellery, coins and bars.

Though institutional investors and central banks shunned gold after a rapid fall in prices during the last quarter, Macquarie suggests that individual buyers are still interested, with demand for jewellery up 40 per cent, and bar and coin investment up 78 per cent through the 12-month period.