Friday, July 23, 2010

Citibank launches multi-currency gold products

KUALA LUMPUR: Citibank's industry's first multi-currency gold products launched on Friday, July 23 allow investors to invest electronically into gold, as part of the bank's move to expand its innovative financial products and services.

The bank said these accounts, which are denominated and held in gold, can be converted to US dollars, Australian dollars and euros.

Customers now have the opportunity to either invest directly into gold or choose to pair currencies with gold to earn interest. All other gold accounts currently offered in the market are denominated only in US dollars or ringgit.

"Positioned as an alternative asset class, these offerings give customers the opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio. Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation and a safe haven in times of economic uncertainty," it said.

Citibank customers can now open a gold account, allowing them to invest directly in the precious metal without actually taking possession of the physical item.

Head of retail bank for Citibank Bhd, Paul Hodes said gold is a viable option as it is an asset class, which historically has been less correlated with other asset classes.

He said it would enable clients to diversify existing investment portfolio. Malaysian customers can opt to pair their gold investment with three currencies - US dollars, Australian dollars and euros - the most currencies currently offered in the market against gold.

"The launch is timely as it is in line with the Citibank strategy of providing a full range of innovative financial products and services to our over 100,000 Citigold and Citibanking customers. This type of investment gives investors options to further diversify their portfolios," he said.'' ''

With a minimum investment of US$5,000 or its equivalent, Citibank expects to attract investors who are familia
r with gold as a commodity and want to invest into Gold as a means of diversification and for potential capital appreciation.

Head of consumer markets, Citibank Bank, Fabio Fontainha said the local wealth management industry was experiencing exciting growth both in terms of escalating numbers of knowledgeable investors and the number of new innovative investment products.

Fontainha said with easy access to facts, figures and news reports, more investors are taking a "hands-on" approach in their investments.

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