Gold ATMs Make Their Way to China
This gold ATM is the latest way for fans and retail investors to buy the precious metal in China.
According to state media, the German-imported gold vending machine will be officially installed during the Chinese National Day holidays, which fall in the first week of October.
The machine prices gold at latest market quotes, which are automatically updated every 10 minutes.
There’s a selection of shapes and sizes, and consumers can choose to pay with cash or an ATM card.
The company behind the gold ATM is the Gongmei Gold Group. And Director Zheng Ruixiang says the ATM is another way to satisfy surging demand for gold.
“After the outbreak of the international financial crisis, everybody in China became very enthusiastic to purchase and invest in gold. Under these circumstances, the traditional ways of selling gold cannot satisfy the demand for gold.”
China is second only to India in terms of demand for gold.
According to the World Gold Council, China’s demand stood at around 700 tons last year. But rising demand for the precious metal, partly due to current volatile market conditions, will lift that significantly.
“Our machine can hold a maximum of about 200 kilograms of gold. The number of customers using gold ATMs may vary a lot in different locations, so we’ll load the ATMs with different volumes accordingly.”
Gongmei expects the gold ATM to be extremely popular and plans to install 2,000 of the machines in banks and high-end hotels over the next two years.
China isn’t the first to get the gold ATM. Similar machines have been introduced in Europe, the United Arab Emirates and Las Vegas.
Gold prices rose nearly 30% in 2010 and have soared to record highs this year, with the precious metal up 14% so far in 2011.
Bottom line: China’s love for gold finds another outlet with the arrival of the country’s first gold ATM.