Singapore to launch exchange-traded gold contract from September

Singapore is hoping to get the Midas' touch in its ambitions to be a regional precious metals trading hub. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Singapore is hoping to get the Midas' touch in its ambitions to be a regional precious metals trading hub. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore is hoping to get the Midas' touch in its ambitions to be a regional precious metals trading hub.

It is launching the world's first exchange-traded wholesale 25 kilobar gold contract.

Announcing the move on Wednesday, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said: "With our close proximity to both demand and supply in Asia, I believe that Singapore is well-placed to support the bullion industry, with substantive mutual benefits," Mr Lim said at the London Bullion Market Association market forum.

"Our vision is that Asia can be a driving force to continue the growth of the bullion industry, and be a global leader in areas fundamental to the demand and trade in this region."

The system, which is expected to go 'live' in September, will introduce centralised trading and clearing of a physically-delivered gold contract in Singapore.

The contract comprises a series of six daily contracts, enabling physical users access to competitively-priced kilobars.

But retail investors hoping to get a piece of the action would be disappointed - the contract is targeted at wholesalers for now.

At a hefty minimum size of 25 kilogrammes per lot, it would also not be easy for any retail investor to consider buying into the market as each lot comes at a price tag of US$1 million (S$1.25 million).

The price is not fixed and would be determined by the demand and supply on the exchange, though the minimum price fluctuation per lot is US$125.

The contract is the result of a successful collaboration between International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA), Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the World Gold Council.

Representing the SBMA in the collaboration are four bullion banks, namely: JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, Standard Merchant and the Bank of Nova Scotia.