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October gold import soars 65% to 43 tonnes

Mumbai: Gold imports went up by 65% to 43 tonnes during October over the corresponding month last year following rise in festive demand due to good monsoon despite the ruling high prices, reports PTI.

Imports during October 2009 stood at 26 tonnes, according to data given by the Bombay Bullion Association (BBA).

According to trade analysts, signs of global economic recovery and good monsoon has drawn customers to the yellow metal despite the ruling high prices. Gold on Saturday ruled at Rs20,440 per 10 grams, while on the international market it was trading at $1,368.80 an ounce.

The country had faced its worst drought in 2009, which badly affected agriculture production, particularly paddy, coupled with world economic crisis made people conserve their savings.

With increasing consumer confidence imports are steadily rising and stood 8.2 tonnes more than in September, which was 34.8 tonnes.

“This year the demand during the festivals was very high as compared to the year-ago period, which resulted in high imports,” industry expert Suresh Hundia told PTI here.

However, after the festive season there is hardly any demand for the precious metal which is likely to affect the November imports, he said.

Analysts feel that, in short term the gold prices will decline by $30-$40 in the global market and Rs500-Rs600 in the domestic markets due to profit taking.

“However, for the medium- and long-term, gold prices will remain bullish on the back of a weak US dollar and global inflationary concerns," analysts said.

From January to October, gold imports stood at 278.5 tonnes, up 92% from 144.7 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, data from BBA shows.

The current gold demand trend in the country indicated a robust year-on-year recovery in imports from the 2009 levels, World Gold Council (WGC) said in a recent report here.

“As consumers have adjusted their price expectations upwards, a further rise in gold jewellery and investment demand is anticipated and this trend is projected to continue over the long-run as local investors are buying gold driven by wealth accumulation motives,” it said.

During the first half of 2010, Indian net retail investment in gold has increased by 264% year-on-year to 93 tonnes, the report ‘India: Heart of Gold’, said.

There is a growing domestic interest in gold investment, triggered by a high savings ratio and the increasing gold investment opportunities available to the investors, the report said.

Based on WGC estimates, India owns over 18,000 tonnes of above ground gold stocks worth approximately $800 billion at today's gold price and representing at least 11% of the global stock.


Videocon Mobile: Sound strategy, fun ads

The new commercials playing on the fears of prepaid users should evoke laughs; the idea is highly campaignable

I look out for mobile phone adverts with a great deal of curiosity. What can one do in a category where all's been said and done, where all routes have been exhausted? Videocon Mobile has released new commercials for prepaid users.

Encouraging them to opt for a plan. And they have come up with the correct strategy, I must say. The mobile marketer highlights the fear that the pre-paid chaps constantly have of running out of talk-time. Especially when they need it the most.

Once this particular strategy is decided, one can produce a thousand hilarious adverts, and that's what Videocon Mobile seems to be doing. And looking at their first few commercials, I must say they have done a pretty decent job.

The commercials feature movie comedian Ritesh Deshmukh. (On a bitchy note, good for the dude. Obviously he has been doing a cool job of being a funny man in Bollywood flicks for Videocon Mobile to hire his services. Not being a fan of the trash that Hindi films dish out in the name of humour, I always thought young Deshmukh was getting the sidey roles due to his parentage.) In one commercial, a man is seen dying, as he makes a frantic call to Ritesh, who's travelling in a train. To tell him that he (the dying gent) is not his real dad, and that the title belonged to another man. But before he has a chance to reveal the identity, poor Ritesh's talk-time gets over and the call gets abruptly disconnected. To add to his misery, the newly turned lawaaris spots a random man in the train who looks like his dad. Yup, the commercial is funny. And Ritesh does a good job of a man doomed not to know who gave him birth, for the rest of his life.

The other one I saw has the actor playing the role of a geeky porn surfer. As he downloads the image of a topless woman, his pre-paid balance gets over just as the image is about to reveal the, er, critical parts. And the phone goes dead. Yup, quite funny.

All in all, good work. The correct strategy (feeding on a pre-paid user's main worry) and a humorous take on situations. Should evoke laughs and people will recall Ritesh Deshmukh's various miseries. And yes, the idea is highly campaignable. And it's good to see the marketer experiment with a fresh face, because quite frankly, it's now become tiring to watch the same ol' Bachchans and the same ol' Khans.


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