Thomas Biesheuvel and Nicholas Larkin
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The U.K.’s Royal Mint, established in the 13th century, doubled production of gold coins in the second quarter as demand surged for bullion to diversify investments.
Output climbed to 16,910 ounces from 8,030 ounces a year earlier, according to data obtained by Bloomberg News under a Freedom of Information Act request. First-half production jumped 86 percent to 45,406 ounces, the figures show.
Demand for physical gold as a store of value and hedge against inflation has increased as governments spend trillions of dollars to combat the worst recession since World War II. Bullion holdings in gold-backed exchange-traded products rose to records in the second quarter. Gold is trading about 7 percent lower than the record $1,032.70 an ounce reached in March 2008.
“There’s still interest in gold as a safe-haven asset,” said Stephen Briggs, an analyst at RBS Global Banking and Markets in London. “This whole sector will capture people who don’t have access to the futures market.”