Features Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| December 14, 2014| 7.07 pm IST Gold is almost a ‘holy’ asset for Indians, even more so when it comes to Kerala. Kerala and gold go hand in hand, and three Kerala gold loan companies prove it again and again. Muthoot Finance, Muthoot Fincorp and Manappuram Gold are some of the biggest names in the gold business. These three companies, all from Kerala, have the largest gold reserves in the country. In a report published by Times of India, The three companies put together have more gold than some countries do as whole. For example, Singapore, as a country, has 127 tonnes in gold, while Sweden has 126 tonnes and Australia, 80 tonnes. Even Kuwait has only 69 tonnes of gold. India is the 11th wealthiest country, gold holdings-wise. It is estimated that India has close to 18,000 tonnes of private gold holdings. The close relationship between Indians and gold is probably one of the things that kept the country floating during the times of recession. But who is Muthoot Finance and Muthoot Fincorp and Manappuram Gold? How do they make their money? Read on: Mannappuram Gold: Set up in 1949 in Kerala, Mannappuram Gold claims to be the first listed gold loaning company in India. The bank started out with simple pawn brokering and gold loans and has now progressed dealing in foreign exchange and money transfer facilities as well. Mannappuram reportedly holds about 40 tonnes of gold from their gold banking dealings. The company grants people different kinds of loans while keeping their gold as collateral. With many Indians preserving their gold in their lockers, this is an easy way to liquefy it for a short period till the loan is paid back. Muthoot Finance:  The Muthoot group came into existance as a trading business in 1887 in Kerala. It was in 1939 that they started the gold loan business. In 2012, the companies retail loan portfolio crossed Rs. 246 billion. Muthoot deals not only in gold banking, foreign exchange and money transfer but also play the role of big investors in infrastructure, tourism, healthcare, securities and energy. The group as a whole made close to $4 billion USD in 2011-12. Muthoot Finance has a whopping 116 tonnes of gold in its vaults. The company works along the same lines as Manappuram does when it comes to gold loans, although with different rates of interest, depending on the fluctuating gold prices. Muthoot Fincorp: The group was founded by Ninan Mathai Muthoot in 1873 and later was taken over by Muthoot Papachan in 1927. Fincorp recently also became the proud owners of the Kerala Blasters, the ISL team from Kerala, along wit hSachin Tendulkar. Muthoot, although with the same name as the other Muthoot, works along the same lines. Fincorp has gold holdings of close to 39 tonnes - as much as some entire countries.  Tweet
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