04 Feb '12, 10pm

Pawnshops see booming business as record gold prices, low interest rates draw customers

Pawnshops see booming business as record gold prices, low interest rates draw customers

Like other pawnshop chains here, ValueMax (above) has been opening new outlets recently as business in the industry grows, largely on the back of soaring gold prices. -- ST PHOTO: VALUEMAX PAWNSHOP By Feng Zengkun The gold rush made last year a banner year for pawnshops in Singapore. That, plus a volatile economy and new, lower interest rate promotions led pawnshops here to hand out $3.4 billion in loans in the first nine months of last year alone. This is almost double the $1.8 billion loaned for the whole of 2008. Pawnshop chain Maxi-Cash, which has 24 outlets islandwide, said its business grew by 60 per cent last year, largely on the back of soaring gold prices. Since 2008, the price of gold has doubled from about US$850 an ounce to around US$1,700 currently. Background story BRISK BUSINESS Pawnshops here are experiencing good times, with some reporting a 60 per cent in...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/...

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