The term "Dama" was allegedly coined by The Wall Street Journal in America, and is literally translated as big mama.It refers to those "bargain-hunting middle-aged Chinese women" who "keep a tight grip on the family purse and an eagle eye on gold prices."Their taste for gold as an investment has seen billions of yuan poured into acquiring gold all around the world.
The dawning of the New Year has not seen a waning in their enthusiasm for the metal, both as a commodity and as an asset.
With the gold price continuing to plunge, sales of gold jewelry and investment products boomed on New Year's Day in China. Damas in Beijing flooded into stores on New Year 's Day, snapping up gold products as gifts for their loved ones.
Wang Chunli is the general manager of the Caibai Department Store in Beijing. She said that within an hour of opening, they witnessed sales of some 10 million yuan. The total turnover of our 17 branches is well positioned to exceed 200 million yuan.
Horse-shaped gold jewelry was the most popular items purchased, as the Year of the Horse was around the corner in accordance with the Chinese calendar. Caibai Department Store reported sales of several hundred pieces of jewelry within the first hour of opening.
"I arrived at about 9 o'clock this morning. I just bought one gold product after having lined up for such a long time. There's still more stuff I want to buy. The price of the gold is a little bit cheaper now. As an outsider, since I came to Beijing, I would like to buy some gold products as souvenirs,"a customer said.
Some shoppers bought three or four calabash-shaped and leaf-shaped coins in one go due to their low prices and exquisite craft.The sales of gold bars also soared. Yu Guiying is the general manager of the Taiyang gold store in Beijing. She introduced, "The price of gold today is 239 yuan, the lowest in recent years. The sales volume of gold bars today is three times higher than average days."
Chinese "Damas" dominated activity in the gold market last year.The massive sell offs in gold assets in May of 2013 and subsequent dip in prices prompted Chinese Damas to snatch up around 300 tons of gold products.
A 12-year rally in gold prices saw the value of the metal surge from $ 253 an ounce to $ 1,920 an ounce - an increase of over 650 percent.
However, 2013 saw gold prices plunge, attracting even more investment from Chinese Damas, who saw it as an opportunity to snap up what they saw as an under-priced asset.Chinese Damas spent hundreds of billion yuan to buy gold over the past year, triggering panic buying across Asia, from the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong to Singapore.
However, Miss Wang, an investor in Shenzhen thought the investors seldom earned this year--the ups and downs happened too quickly.
On the other hand, gold sellers earned a lot in the past year. Lin Lin is a gold jewelry shop owner in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province. She owns three gold jewelry shops, each of which saw more than a million yuan in profit during 2013.
Besides gold dealers, gold processing enterprises were also very busy in the past year. Yan Jiansu, manager of Gift Company in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, tells us: "Our company ran just two small processing plants before. Prompted by the prosperous gold market, we have three times employees and have expanded our processing area twice."
As gold sales boom at the beginning of the New Year, in the background of generally bearish for gold in 2014, how will Chinese Dama behave in the gold market? Let's wait and see.