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China gets first gold vending machine

BUSINESS: China, already the world’s second largest bullion consumer, has installed the country’s first gold vending machine in a busy shopping district in Beijing, state media said on Sunday (September 25).

Monday 26 September 2011, 03:13PM

Shoppers in the popular Wangfujing Street can insert cash or use a bank card to withdraw gold bars or coins of various weights based on market prices, the People’s Daily newspaper said on its website.

Each withdrawal is capped at 2.5 kilograms or one million yuan (about B4.7 million) worth of gold, the report said.

Gold vending machines already exist in Britain, the United States, the Middle East and Europe.

The machine was launched by the Beijing Agricultural Commercial Bank and a gold trading company, the People’s Daily report said.

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More machines are planned in secure locations such as gold shops and upmarket private clubs.

Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation and the machines could prove popular among Chinese consumers looking for a convenient way to safeguard their cash amid rising prices.

Chinese consumer demand for gold soared 27 per cent year-on-year in 2010, to 579.5 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council.

India, the world’s top consumer of gold, saw a 66 per cent increase to 963.1 tonnes. – AFP



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