Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The (golden) nail in the coffin

Pension funds are almost always late to the party, and their involvement in passive commodity indexes presaged the previous commodity crash of '08.

Balancing future liabilities on an investment with negative yield (storage costs) and relying only on appreciation in anticipation of inflation (or rather interest rate volatility, which is more closely correlated with gold prices) seems like a rather rash move.

This will end badly and congress will likely hold hearings and pass forward looking legislation banning pension funds from commodity speculation, etc.

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Pension funds have started investing actively in gold last year viewing the metal as a safe long-term investment, the head of the World Gold Council told Reuters on Wednesday.

"Last year we saw a very notable switch of pension funds to holding gold for the first time," Aram Shishmanian, the CEO of the council, told Reuters Financial Television on the sidelines of a forum organized by the Adam Smith Institute in Moscow.

He said China and South Africa were the top producers last year and added Russia's weak mining legislation was the main constraint for the sector development in the country.

The WGC does not forecast gold prices for 2010.

Shishmanian said he believed the market will be "robust."

Global gold demand dropped 11 percent in 2009 on weaker industrial and jewellery demand, but investors appetite for bullion is likely to remain strong this year, the World Gold Council said earlier on Wednesday.

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