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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has seen a surge in licenses for precious metal and gemstones this year, according to a report by the Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper, citing figures from the Ministry of Commerce.
The ministry has issued 220 licenses in the sectors so far in 2021, the report said. That compares to 270 issued throughout the whole of last year.
The trading or manufacturing of precious metals or gemstones without a license can lead to imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to SR90,000 ($24,000).
The ministry reported that 136 violations were recorded this year, while 443 were recorded in 2020.
In trading last week, gold rebounded on Friday after a two-week low. However, Reuters reported that bullion was still on course to register its biggest weekly decline since March. Spot gold was up 1 percent on Friday to $1,889.27 per ounce.
“Part of what we’re seeing in terms of the strength in gold are inflation expectations and those are partly based on the stronger economic data, like higher jobs growth, a broader recovery in the US (and) parts of Europe, and China is still doing well,” Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM Group, told Reuters. “Gold prices will probably continue to trade between $1,855 and $1,920-an-ounce levels,” he said.
Among other precious metals, silver gained 1 percent to $27.73 per ounce, palladium was down 0.1 percent to $2,837.54 and platinum rose 0.5 percent to $1,162.83.