Singapore has been an important gold trading centre for the Far East since the 1970s and has served as an important logistics and trading hub up to the late 1980s. The bullion banks here have been instrumental in contributing to the growth of the Southeast Asian and Indian gold markets.
The Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) was formed in 1993 by 16 corporate members from the precious metals industry to engage the government in discussions relating to the exclusion of GST on precious metals during prior to the introduction of GST in Singapore, and to develop Singapore as a bullion centre in Asia/Pacific. However, With the introduction GST on 1 April 1994, Singapore lost its momentum and status as a physical gold distribution centre. The SBMA lost some of its momentum and became less active as an association
The Ministry of Finance announced the removal of GST on investment grade precious metals in 2012. The SBMA was also revamped with the help of IE Singapore to further support the growth of the gold market ecosystem. The agency has been playing an active role in building a world-class infrastructure for the precious metals industry in Singapore since 2010, in a bid to revive its former role as a gold trading hub.
Since 2013, the gold-market ecosystem in Singapore has been enhanced with the commencement of operations here by a world class refinery, Metalor Technologies S.A., the increase in storage facilities for precious metals at Singapore Freeport, and the subsequent addition of more storage spaces operated by bullion banks or secured logistic companies in Singapore. Additionally, the introduction of SGX Kilobar Contract in 2014 and ICE Kilo Gold future in 2015 further contributed to the general enhancement of the industry.
In 2015, the SBMA was formally constituted with the support of IE Singapore as an industry association with its own corporate constitution, secretariat and premises.