Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Sales of coins commemorating the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou were lukewarm Monday, the first say of sale, amid a low international gold price and the president's plummeting approval ratings.
There were no lines of people waiting to buy the commemorative gold and silver coins at the Taipei headquarters of the Bank of Taiwan, which is authorized to sell the coins.
The sliding support for Ma, who was sworn in to his second term a day earlier, was partially responsible for the lukewarm sales, as the coins are highly political and are sold mostly to supporters, according to a coin vendor.
Ma's approval rating had dropped to 23 percent by the eve of his second term, down from 66 percent shortly after he took office in 2008, according to the latest poll conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News.
The price of gold, which has been falling, coupled with a recent slowing trade in the precious metal, also contributed to the lukewarm sales response, according to the vendor.
A total of 10,000 gold coins priced at NT$54,000 (US$1,826) apiece, and 50,000 silver coins priced at NT$1,800 are on sale, the Central Bank said.
The first-day sales of the commemorative coins were an unimpressive 801 golds and 8,719 silvers, the Bank of Taiwan said.
Each individual is allowed to purchase one gold and one silver coin at a time, and the bank said the sale would continue the following day.
(By Kao Chao-fen, Scully Hsiao and S.C. Chang)