Alternative Investment News Round-up: Friday 10th June

India scraps tax to boost gold sector

India has scrapped a tax on the purchase of gold to boost demand in a cooling sector.

Cash purchases of gold jewellery of Rs 2 lakh and over were previously subject to a 1 per cent tax, but the government has raised the threshold to Rs 5 lakh as of June 2016. The news caused stocks such as PC Jwellers, TBZ and Gitanjali Gems to soar up to 4.3 per cent on the BSE.

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Agricultural commodities: An investment worth considering?

The world population is forecast to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations Population Division, something that places pressure upon the supply of food to sustain it. In the coming decades, an extra 1.7 billion people will need feeding. Does that underlying demand for a finite supply of natural resources make agricultural commodities an investment worth considering?

It’s a complex sector, explains Nikolas Xenofontos, Director of Risk Management at online trading services provider easyMarket. Demand continues to rise, but at a slower pace, growing by only 2 per cent between 1989 and 1999, down from previous decades, according to data from the FAO. This is attributed to slower population growth and the fact that a significant portion of the globe’s population had reached relatively high levels of food consumption, thereby limiting the scope of further increases. Indeed, future demand for agricultural goods is forecast by the FAO to rise 1.4 per cent between 2015 and 2030.

“The combination of slower demand growth and efforts to more efficiently mass produce agri-foods could impact how commodities are priced and ultimately traded in the financial markets,” says Xenofontos. “Environmental factors, weather patterns and production challenges all [impact] on the supply – and the price – of these commodities.”

“Unique Pink” diamond up for sale

Coloured diamonds are becoming an increasingly popular asset for alternative investment, with a recent auction by Christie’s seeing a 5.18-carat pink diamond fetch 10 million Swiss francs.

Coming up for sale soon is the “Unique Pink”, a vivid diamong weighing 15.38 carats. Telegraph Luxury contributor Joanna Hardy profiles the diamond at Goldsmiths’ Hall.

Foxfire: Can miracle diamond break records?

Rare diamonds are always in high demand but the Foxfire diamond from Canada, up for auction in June, isn’t just rare: it almost never existed at all.

The 187.7-carat gem should have been crushed into smaller pieces in Canada’s Diavik mine, but its weird shape let it slip through mechanical filters unseeen. Could the miracle diamond break records when it goes up for sale at a sealed-bid auction?

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