Positioning Singapore as the Asia Pacific’s Precious Metals Hub
The inaugural 2-day Asia Pacific Precious Metals Conference in Singapore which was organised by the Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) from 5 to 6 June 2017 was a resounding success. The conference attracted 335 participants from over 150 companies which include 10 exchanges, 17 refineries and 8 bullion banks. Participants came from the ASEAN countries, Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Middle East, New Zealand, Taiwan, Turkey, Russia, U.K. and the U.S.A.
The Conference also witnessed the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). The first was between Mr U Khin Maung Han, Chairman of Myanmar Gold Development Public Company and Mr Sunil Kashyap, Chairman of SBMA. The objective of the MOU is to foster closer collaboration between the Myanmar and Singapore in the gold sector.
The second MOU was signed between the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange (CGSE) and SBMA. This MOU will facilitate and better connect the precious metals markets within Asia. It will also generate huge opportunities within the region as both Hong Kong and Singapore are free trading markets and play critical roles in different markets. The MOU will look into co-operation in regard to creating a “fungible” environment for cross border trades within the region and among exchanges on “kilobar standard” and “designated bullion depository”.
According to SBMA, the imports and exports of gold almost doubled in the years after the goods and services tax (GST) was removed for investment-grade precious metals in 2012. Statistics from IE Singapore show that the total imports and exports of gold in Singapore have expanded from 474 tonnes in 2012 when the GST exemption started to a peak of 823 tonnes in 2014 before falling to 618 tonnes in 2016. These gold statistics were revealed for the first time by IE Singapore.
Singapore’s strategy, through the efforts of SBMA and support of IE Singapore, to develop itself as a precious metals trading hub is bearing fruit. Through this conference, SBMA aims to play a greater role in the region by bringing together the industry players of the bullion markets of the ASEAN countries through the sharing of knowledge and best practices and connecting them to the global markets. It will also position Singapore as an important hub for gold trading in ASEAN.