UBS opens first gold vault outside Switzerland in Singapore

Swiss bank UBS has opened a gold vault to store physical gold in Singapore for its wealth-management clients, its first such storage facility outside of Switzerland.

The bank says it is seeing more interest in the precious metal from investors in the region, despite a recent slump in gold prices.

"Notwithstanding the drop in gold prices, we are still receiving queries on the offering from clients who are keen to reap the benefits of asset and geographical diversification," said Mr Peter Kok, regional market manager for wealth management in Singapore and Malaysia.

"These clients tend to hold a long term view on gold and enjoy the stability and security benefits which come with holding gold as an asset class."

UBS' clients in Singapore and Hong Kong can use the vault in the Singapore FreePort, which can hold up to 60 tonnes of gold, Mr Kok said. Singapore FreePort is at Changi Airport.

"Singapore is the first location in Asia, and the only location outside of Switzerland, where we have a facility for the storage of physical gold," said Mr Kok. The Republic was selected due to its "excellent infrastructure and sound legal framework".

Other banks that have bullion storage facilities in the Singapore FreePort include Deutsche Bank, which opened its largest vault outside of London there last month, and JP Morgan Chase, which launched its vault in 2010.