Gold rush

GOOD AS GOLD: Courtenay Heading with a 250 gramme ingot worth around �1,500

GOOD AS GOLD: Courtenay Heading with a 250 gramme ingot worth around �1,500

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A NEW island venture claims it is offering a golden opportunity as the UK prime minister warns of ‘perilous economic times’ and the euro faces make or break time.

The firm called Isle of Man Bullion has secured two gold storage vault facilities in the island.

And the company claims many around the world have already expressed a wish to leave their gold here in a ‘safe and trusted jurisdiction’.

Spokesman Courtenay Heading, a prominent island businessman, said the company is also building ‘relationships in Europe and the Middle East prior to an official Manx launch on August 8’.

He said: ‘The initiative is built on market timing but reflects a centuries long history of gold as a store of wealth, and never more so than in turbulent times.’

He said a 10-strong team has been assembled to get the business moving and these include former police officers.

‘And there will undoubtedly be a knock-on effect for jobs in the island,’ added Mr Heading.

He added: ‘Any vault is only as good as the security it offers and the relationships of customers and the custodians with whom they do business.

‘Basing it in the Isle of Man plays to our 1,000 year trusted parliament as many countries are going through unforseen turmoil.

‘Many off island have already expressed a wish to put their gold in a safe, trusted jurisdiction.’

The public announcement of the new company is very timely - only late last week UK PM David Cameron warned the eurozone was at a crossroads amid doubts about the currency’s survival.

Mr Heading, already well known in the business community for his work with engineering firm Bladon Jets, told Business News: ‘Gold has gone from being a commodity 10 years ago to being a currency now, with China paying for her oil in gold not US dollars.’

He claimed the world is now living through a currency battle. ‘On their weighing scales of true money the paper pile has got six times taller in a decade, but the ounce of gold is still the same sized store of value.

‘To the man or woman in the street gold means holding on to purchasing power.

‘Two thousand years ago an ounce of gold bought you a very nice handmade suit and it still does. It holds this power because unlike paper currencies it can’t be printed into oblivion, and gold is supported by solid fundamentals.’

Mr Heading said he has been investing in gold since 2002 just as some central banks were selling down their reserves. ‘But a decade later central bank buying of gold is at a 40 year high. What’s changed is the dawning reality of the phrase ‘‘good as gold’’ ’.

Mr Heading said the new company had been around two years in the planning. He said: ‘Isle of Man Bullion currently stores and can sell gold here. It’s not a regulated activity, but we have very experienced regulatory compliance and security experts in our team.’

He confirmed that talks were under way with various island companies over providing support services for the new venture which he predicted would be very exciting for the island economy.

He said he is a firm believer in island professionalism and added: ‘Companies with the telephone number starting 01624 are definitely top of the list.’

Mr Heading said the island was ‘blessed beyond belief’ in terms of security and probity and was the ideal location for the storing of gold.

He added: ‘There is a strong sense of community in the island.’

Details of the location of the two vaults are being kept under wraps and further details of the new firm will be released nearer to the launch date in August. Mr Heading said: ‘Gold has endured for 2,000 years. Like a few others, I’ll be cheering a Cavendish victory at the Olympics and doubtless he won’t be photographed with an ink stained certificate of achievement round his neck. He’ll be kissing his gold medal, before squirelling it away somewhere for safekeeping.

‘I went for a curry last week, and the talk turned to the current financial turmoil in Europe. It was brought to a conclusion with the wife of a friend saying: ‘‘but if you can’t trust the banks what do you do.’’ That’s the decision that’s slowly dawning on us all, since 2008 when a lot of us drew out paper money, just in case. But since then that too has lost purchasing power, with my car needing £100 to fill it up.’

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