5 Apr 2012

New owner at NZ Mint

6:48 pm on 5 April 2012

New Zealand Mint has a new owner, who's eyeing up international expansion.

New Zealander Simon Harding has purchased the company, which trades bullion and issues commemorative coins, from its founder, Gary McNabb for an undisclosed amount.

Mr Harding's background includes positions as financial controller at London Futures and Options Exchange and senior vice president of New York-based IIR, the world's largest conference and training company.

After returning to New Zealand in 2003, Mr Harding purchased the Auckland-based Elite International School of Beauty Therapy which he has since sold to an Australian private equity firm.

Mr Harding, who becomes the mint's managing director, says his plans for the business include an increased focus on global markets for gold and silver bullion, legal tender commemorative coins and medallions.

Mr Harding says he also plans expanding the mint's current markets in the US and Russia as well as breaking into new markets including China.

He says gold bullion continues to be a popular investment in turbulent times because of its safe haven status.

Mr Harding says gold is always seen as a safe haven investment and New Zealand is perceived internationally as a safe haven country, so there is both international and local interest in bullion holding.