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Swiss mint firm enters domestic bullion market
Ties up with Clarity Gold, to set up minting facility at Jaipur

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Mr Manfred Gantner, CEO of Faude & Huguenin, Switzerland, greeting Mr Shiv Shankar Gupta, Chairman, Clarity Gold, at the launch of HF MetalArt, a joint venture to set up first minting facility in the country, in the Capital on Monday. R.V. Moorthy
Mr Manfred Gantner, CEO of Faude & Huguenin, Switzerland, greeting Mr Shiv Shankar Gupta, Chairman, Clarity Gold, at the launch of HF MetalArt, a joint venture to set up first minting facility in the country, in the Capital on Monday. R.V. Moorthy

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Oct. 10

THE Switzerland-based mint major Faude & Huguenin on Monday announced its entry into Indian bullion market through a tie-up with the Mumbai-based Clarity Gold Pvt Ltd.

The partners have formed a joint venture company HF MetalArt Pvt Ltd (HFMPL) in which, F&H has taken a 60 per cent stake and the balance with Clarity Gold.

HF MetalArt would set up a minting facility at Jaipur at an overall investment of Rs 40 crore.

The total gold processing and minting capacity of the plant would be about 300 tonnes per annum of bullion metal.

Manufacturing at this mint is expected to start in May next year. Until products roll out of this facility, HFMPL would import investment and gold bars for the Indian market.

"This is the first-ever external investment for any Swiss Mint and also for Faude & Huguenin, which is a family-owned company. We were looking at an entry into China or India. After studying the market and other issues, we finally settled for India," Mr Manfred Gantner, CEO, Faude & Huguenin, told a press conference here on Monday.

Mr Shiv Shankar Gupta, Chairman, Clarity Gold, said the joint venture company would initially focus on gold investment and retail products. "In the long run, we will also look at silver," he said.

About 60 per cent of the production of HF MetalArt would be exported, and the balance would be sold in the domestic market.

Asked about distribution of the minted gold products, Mr Gupta said talks are on with banks and large State-owned organisations for distributing the products. "We will make our products widely available. We will sell through both banking channels and retail outlets, mostly jewellers," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 11, 2005)
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