With gold prices rising to a seven-year high, many Thais have been flocking to gold shops to trade in their necklaces, bracelets, rings and gold bars for cash, eager to reap profits during an economic downturn.
In Thailand, where measures against the spread of COVID-19 have been less severe than in other countries, gold shops are de facto financial institutions, and generally remain open. Long lines formed all week outside major gold shops in Chinatown in the capital Bangkok.
The sell-off has some gold shop owners claiming they are facing a liquidity crunch, leaving them short on cash to continue purchasing.
They are unable to carry out their normal practice of quickly reselling the gold abroad because of the greatly reduced number of flights to ship the gold and a shortage of buyers in other countries, who are restricted by lockdown orders and market closures.
Jitti Tangsithpakdi, chairman of the Gold Traders Association and owner of Chin Hua Heng Goldsmith Co, told the Associated Press that more than 90 percent of recent gold shop customers are sellers.
For the rest of this article: https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/with-price-high-thais-with-dwindling-incomes-sell-off-gold/