As the top two players in the oldest lending business in India, gold lending NBFCs Muthoot and Manappuram Finance don’t require much introduction to investors. Unlike other lending operations, gold lending still requires the physical presence of the customer and therefore fin-tech challengers are yet to figure out a way to crack this lucrative business. The adoption of digital technologies in gold lending is restricted to bank transactions and sales origination.
A cocktail of factors – from the rollout of the Covid vaccine across the world, to optimism about economic recovery to a spiking of US bond yields – has had a dampening effect on gold, pushing it into an official bear market. (A bear market is roughly defined by a 20% decline in any asset from its peak).