DUTY-FREE NUGGETS?

 
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For the well-travelled tourist who's been there, done that and got the T-shirt, South Africa's international airport duty free shops have begun offering something a little different -- gold bars.

Johannesburg's Rand Gold refinery has taken advantage of the South African Reserve bank's recent concessions that allow the sale of gold at international airports and is doing brisk over-the-counter bullion business.

Travellers leaving the country through Johannesburg, Durban or Cape Town airports and holding foreign, that is non-South African, passports have a choice of three bar sizes for which they must pay in hard currencies. And they can buy as much as they like, quantities being entirely dependent on the their forex holdings and baggage weight limitations. The gold is sold at a slight premium to the London price.

"The bulk of the buyers will probably come from India and other Asian countries," says Rand refinery managing director Mr Phil Mostert. The South African move comes hard on the heels of the Indian government's decision to allow authorised agencies to sell gold on India's...

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