A sharp drop in gold prices triggered by speculation about political friction in Eastern Europe subsided amid signs that the US economy continues to re- cover from a winter slowdown.

While the situation may continue in the short term, it does not signal a permanent change in the story of the yellow metal.

This was the view expressed by Joy Alukkas, chairman and managing director of Joyalukkas Group, one of the largest gold and jewellery retailers.

Speaking to the Times of Oman on the sidelines of an event in Muscat, Alukkas predicted a further slump in the retail prices of gold in the near term but reiterated that gold is still a safe haven for investment despite the crash. “I do not see this (decline in prices) as a permanent change. Yes, the prices will continue to fall in the coming months but as far as investment is concerned, gold is still a safe bet,” said Alukkas, who owns multi-dollar retail gold and diamond jewellery business half- way across the world.

Lowest levels

Gold dropped internationally last week to the lowest level as a host of factors, including positive economic data from the United States, the S&P500 Index registering an all time high, and easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, have pushed the prices down to a 16-week low.

However, Alukkas said the jewellery markets across the globe have increased their sales as customers are making the most of it during this decline. “We are having good sales in all our showrooms, both in India and in other parts of the world. If you have any special occasion such as marriages or any such occasion, this is the best time to buy gold. People should take advantage during this period of decline,” urged Alukkas whose company has over 10 million customers worldwide.

On Thursday, the Joyalukkas Centre in Ruwi High Street was rebranded as Jolly Silks by South Indian superstar and style icon Allu Arjun who also inaugurated Joy Alukkas’ showroom in Sohar Souq and reopened the refurbished Joyalukkas Jewellery in Muscat City Centre, Seeb.

Joy Alukkas, a household name in jewellery business, had first setup his business in the UAE in 1987. Ever since then, he never looked back. Pertinently hailed as the ‘World’s favourite jewel- ler’ (the popular tagline of the company), Alukkas also started a host of businesses such as money exchange, luxury air charter, fashion and silks and malls. Despite all of this, Alukkas wears his success lightly.

“I never compromised on corporate values and strongly believe that satisfied customers are the backbone of a company. That has been my success,” said Alukkas.

Fashion foray

According to Alukkas, the re-branding of its existing fashion and silks outlets as Jolly Silks is a roll-out across all markets with an aim to take the business to the next level.

“A committed team of experts from the fashion industry is now leading this drive to make Jolly Silks, the new fashion destination. The change in the brand name has been already implemented in India and has been well accepted and appreciated by the consumers there,” Alukkas noted.

“We feel Oman is continuing to grow and prosper and our initiatives perfectly fit the customer expectations here,” he added.

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