Already a major hub of finance and commerce, Singapore is also becoming a major centre for the bullion industry. It has a fully operating ecosystem consisting of bullion banks, refiners, traders, retailers, jewellers and manufacturers. “The Singapore bullion market association represents the bullion players in the local market and it is very much focussed on building Singapore as a bullion hub in South East Asian region” says Martin Huxley, the chairman of the association.
Singapore has a stable economy, political and tax environments, it is a strategic location within the region which make the island state a natural choice as the regional bullion hub. Location in fact, is a big factor for Singapore given the high demand for physical gold in Asia, even outside the giants of China and India, be it for investment or hedge against inflation.
Huxley notes that there has been huge growth in the storage and vaulting capacity in Singapore. With the opening of a London Bullion Market Association accredited refinery in Singapore in 2014, combined with Singapore’s ability to connect to adjacent markets such as Indonesia, Thailand and even Australia, it is natural for major gold players such as INTL FCStone to locate their regional office in Singapore.
To cement the role that Singapore plays in the regional bullion market, the SBMA organised the first Asia Pacific precious metals conference last year, attended by over 330 delegates. The association also conducts “outreach visits to other countries to connect participants in those markets with the wider bullion market.” Finally, the association works closely with the Singapore government to provide a full range of solutions to the market participants.