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Sharps Pixley to Offer Gold Coins, Bars After Purchasing Name

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sharps Pixley Ltd. will start offering gold coins and bars to U.K. investors after a former trader bought the name from Deutsche Bank AG to tap the retail market for bullion following a 10-year price rally.

Ross Norman, who worked as a trader at NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd. and Credit Suisse Group AG and co-founded FastMarkets Ltd., bought the trademark, the broker said today in an e-mailed statement. Sharps Pixley, originally founded by the merger of two firms whose origins date to 1778, said it will offer an online service and has an office in London.

“There is an opportunity to rekindle latent interest in the U.K. gold market, not least because it has consistently been one of the strongest-performing asset classes of the last decade,” Sharps Pixley said. “There are growing concerns about further economic turmoil and the possibility of serious inflation.”

Gold for immediate delivery climbed 30 percent last year and reached a record $1,431.25 an ounce in London last month. The metal rallied after governments spent trillions of dollars and kept interest rates low to bolster economies. U.K. inflation in November exceeded the government’s target for a ninth month. Bullion traded at $1,369 at 3:45 p.m. London time yesterday.

Sharps Pixley said it’s negotiating with “a couple” of suppliers to make small bars and coins available through the website. The broker may consider expanding into Europe, Norman said by phone yesterday. He was the most-accurate forecaster of palladium prices in last year’s London Bullion Market Association survey, winning a one-ounce platinum bar.

FastMarkets provides news and research for the metals market, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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