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Group: Action taken by Bank Negara on Genneva could be a misunderstanding

GEORGE TOWN: There are no clear guidelines regulating any aspect of gold trading in the country, according to the Gold Bullion Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia (GBEAM).

It said the trade had been unregulated since the 1980s.

The association believes in the business model by Genneva Malaysia Sdn Bhd as it was based on a genuine platform.

“The action taken by Bank Negara could be based on a misunderstanding. GBEAM hopes that the Govern-ment will provide clearer guidelines to gold traders in the future,” the association said in a statement yesterday.

It added that there had been no negative feedback on Genneva from the customers.

“We were made to understand that there were no police reports lodged against Genneva for cheating,” it said.

In SINGAPORE, two rival gold trading firms are offering “rescue plans” to some customers left in limbo by the legal problems besieging Gen-neva Pte Ltd.

The Gold Guarantee (TGG) and Asia Pacific Bullion (APB) said that they were willing to step in and act as a bullion buyer and offer alternative investment schemes, reported The Straits Times.

Police raided Genneva’s premises on Monday and took away boxes of documents and computer hardware.

Client Rachel Seah, 52, who has invested more than S$200,000 (RM496,126) in Genneva, said she had to invest in TGG scheme for a year.

“What if the company experiences the same problem? I will lose more than I already have lost,” she added.

Genneva sells gold to customers at a premium to the market rate. Both TGG and APB said they would buy back gold from Genneva customers at a premium.

A TGG agent said that the company had a “different management and business line” from Genneva.

Eddy Cheong, head of financial planning at Providend, warned customers against jumping in too fast.

He added that customers had limited recourse when such companies go bust as their activities were not regulated.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also does not accord consumers any protection when they deal with such entities, the paper said.

Genneva, TGG and APB are listed on the MAS Investor Alert List.