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Gold investors: support competitive pawnshops

 
 
Sweeping reports on the global gold market can be too slick for investors like me to get their heads around. But I want my gold exchange traded fund investment (PHAU) to have a foundation in something that I can see for myself. This might be an unrealistic aim but I'm trying.
 
So far...
 
When I checked my local gold market on the Narroway in Hackney Central the pawnbrokers offered better prices for scrap gold than the jewellers.
 
That was all I could squeeze out of my first aimless mission. Then a foray south into Tower Hamlets found muslim gold owners breaking their religious code to pawn their gold.
 
What next?
If my local gold market is dominated by pawnshops are they offering a good deal? A possible lead came from the BBC report on the gold buying season in India by Delhi reporter, Mark Dummett, for BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight.
 
Dummett talked about the big business of lending against gold in India and one successful example of a company that does it: Muthoot Finance.
 
Muthoot, which listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in May, also opened its first store in the UK last year in the heart of London's Indian community in Southall, in west London. In the UK it charges interest rates between 5.99% per month (for loans between £20 and £199) up to 2.5% (for loans above £3000).
 
Taken at face value these rates look far better than the 8% per month offered by pawnshops in most other UK high streets.

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