Archive for February, 2014

Mexican Funds could consider investing in gold

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

It would seem that Mexican pension funds are interested in gold and in particular after the lifting of years of strict investment regulations according to the World Gold Council.

Legislation from 2012 allowed Mexican pension funds to invest in gold and other commodities in 2013 and more over in foreign assets. Not such a long time ago, we also read about some pension funds in Japan (which actually hold the world’s second largest pool of retirement assets) which have also decided to invest in gold.

Mexican pension funds account for 22% of Mexican savings and could double up in assets by 2018 according to the Wall Street Journal . Although they will have to determine how much they can invest in commodities and foreign assets, they won’t be able to invest more than 10% of their assets in commodities.

One has to know that pension fund interest in gold rarely impacts the gold price  since it plays a very small role in the global market estimated at $236. According to Bloomberg, it was estimated  in 2012 that only $9 billions in Mexican pension assets will be eligible for commodities investment overall while US hedge funds sold gold heavily in 2013 .

It will be interesting to know how Mexican pension funds perform with gold in the future. There again, are we talking about ETF or real physical gold … ?

To be continued …

When the Bank of Canada decides to sell its gold coins in order to balance the books … or pay the public debt

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

According to the Globe and Mail, The Bank of Canada would have decided to melt down more than 200.000 gold coins from the years 1912 to 1914. Some collectors have been curious to find out what had happened to the $5 and $10 gold coins that Ottawa had pulled out of circulation. Finally, the Bank of Canada informed that they would be offering 30.000 of the bank’s 246.000 coins for sale to collectors.

This sale is just one of the recent moves of the federal government which has decided to unload public assets as it moves to balance the books by 2015, so they say ….

Just like many other foreign governments, they have decided to sell public assets at low prices so to pay off their debts. We are talking about public assets such as foreign embassies, port lands, gold or silver coins, paintings and so on … For example, the $10 dollar coins were sold for either $1,000 or $1,750 each, depending on their quality and premium. This sale created a kind of gold rush among the collectors.

Some buyers are very proud to hold gold coins that had been sitting at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa for several decades and were officially recorded as part of Canada’s gold holdings in the Exchange Fund Account of foreign currency.

On the other side, some collectors are quite unhappy about this public sale since it drove down the value of their collections.

So far the federal government has not published the official figure of the coins sold although the sale is closed at the present time. Needless to say that the Canadian government can expect to make some profit from the coin sales. The Canadian government will consider other options for the remaining gold coins either melting them down or plan any resale …

Let’s not forget the main explanation provided in a private agreement between the Department of Finance, the Royal Canadian Mint and the Bank of Canada  which objective was to improve the liquidity of the government’s assets, provide a piece of Canadian history to coin collectors and to “extract value from coin sales for the government and taxpayers.