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The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has catapulted the gold market.More and more customers buy and sell precious metals and the demand for investors is increasing.

Este contenido fue publicado el 30 enero 2021 - 11:00
Elena Boromeo, Simone Previatello and Alberto Dagnino, RSI News

“This ingot is worth 57,000 francs ($ 63,000).At the beginning of the year, 50,000 francs were worth and during the crisis its value reached 60,000 francs, ”says Ralph Thoma while holding a golden beating one kilo in his hands in his hands.Thoma is director of Aurofin, a reputed gold marketing company based on Chiasso, commune of the Tesino Canton.Thoma says that during 2020 he has seen how the demand for gold by investors, both Swiss and foreigners.

The gold market, he says, needs "prices to be moving".With this, tacitly states that crises, as a paradoxical that is, always bring positive effects.This was in 2008, when the financial markets collapsed due to the crisis of subprime credits and fly now, at least partially, in pandemic times.The price of gold has risen and demand is high.

Swiss are fundamental protagonists in the gold market: about 70% of the world's annual gold production is refined in this country, and three of the leading refineries are located in the Tesino canton (Valcambi, Argor-Heraeus and Pamp).

In the current market, people who want to buy gold are combined, than people who need to sell it for the crisis that is going through."Online demand is explosive," says Nicola Esposito, consultant and administrator of Goodwill Asset Management, also a signature based on Chiasso.

"On our website, applications have been tripled with respect to the levels that had only six months ago," he explains.These are people who have written in the Google search engine phrases such as "selling gold in the Tesino" or something similar (you can see 151,000 searches of this type) and now they want Goodwill Asset Management to explain how to do it how to do it.

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This trend is confirmed by extraburstable gold marketers.Francesco Ardemagni, owner of exchange houses and establishments dedicated to the sale of gold in Stabio, states that "in these times of crisis, people are liquidating the assets they have in gold to survive".Italian customers, in particular, are arriving in Switzerland in recent months with bracelets, earrings and rings.Swiss, meanwhile, preponderantly sell coins and bullion to benefit from the high current price of gold

Stricter rules are needed

This is largely due to Switzerland.Jewelry, for example, is not regulated by federal legislation to combat external money laundering, which does regulate, on the other.

The principles to respect are: if a transaction is less than 15,000 francs, it can be carried out anonymously.If it is located in a range of between 15,000 and 100,000 francs, the client must identify and certify that the financial solvency has to carry out that transaction.And for sales of more than 100,000 francs, in addition to fully identifying, the client must reveal the origin of the funds.In all cases, transactions can be performed in cash, without amount limit.

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But these rules lack validity for precious metals, which can be bought and sold without any specific control.In an external statement published in 2019, the Swiss government admitted that there is a "gap to correct" and explicitly referred to the "money laundering risks" and proposed stricter standards.But neither the National Council (Lower Chamber of Parliament) nor the Council of the States (upper house) accepted the rules for this market.

The trade of precious metals has, however, another type of supervision."Any person related to the acquisition of gold is considered high risk," explains the OAD-FCT, an organism for financial self-regulation of this industry in the Tesino region.Gold merchants do not depend directly on Finma, the federal supervisory agency of financial markets, but are monitored by these agencies that observe their own members.In El Tesino, Polyreg is the agency that inspects most gold buyers, but declined to be interviewed by

In addition, like all other goods marketed, gold is subject to customs inspection, says Maurizio Sabino, director of the Precious Metal Section of the Federal Customs Administration.

"If an article is imported for commercial purposes, you must cross customs and pay the corresponding rights; there are no exceptions," he explains.Therefore, any client to cross the border from Italy is expected to sell jewelry or coins before a customs statement.

The supervisory federal authorities are also concerned with the export of ancient gold to melt, since with this type of metal there is no obligation to comply with the Swiss regulations that demand that a refinery determine the origin of a precious metal.

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Translated from English by Andrea Ornelas

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