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SBMA Successfully Concludes First Virtual APPMC

By Albert Cheng, SBMA

SBMA received overwhelming support from both sponsors and delegates in its first virtual edition of the Asia Pacific Precious Metals Conference (APPMC), which took place on 16 and 17 June.

While SBMA and other precious metals industry participants were looking forward to a return of APPMC, following a break in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, plans were scuppered as the virus continued its grip on economies globally and limited cross-border travel and physical meetings. The reception the conference received from sponsors and delegates was a testament to APPMC’s role as an enabler for bullion community in the Asia Pacific and a platform for stakeholders to share the future of this vibrant industry.

The conference’s virtual format enabled it to reach a wider audience in terms of geography and sectoral representation. Over two days, the conference saw a total of 876 registered delegates – its highest ever. The quality and depth of the curated content did not suffer either, with top names from across the industry, participating in panels that covered hot-button issues like bitcoin and gold, industry regulation, the latest technology and products, as well as updates on domestic markets across the region. During the conference, top Indonesian official Dr Adi Budiarso announced the country’s plans to open up its bullion banking sector – a development the industry is eagerly looking forward to, given the country’s large and growing market – and called for further consultation with SBMA members.

Keynote speakers World Gold Council CEO David Tait and London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) CEO Ruth Crowell discussed mainstreaming the role and relevance of gold in the financial market, and LBMA initiatives related to advancing global standards in terms of responsible sourcing, bar integrity and Basel III, respectively. Tait noted that gold would play an increasingly fundamental role in portfolios as markets recover post Covid-19, and Crowell highlighted that responsible gold mining can support sustained socio-economic development and contribute towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The virtual networking segment, which spanned four days, proved a hit among participants, with 50 attendee table meetings and 402 sponsor table meetings conducted. While the initiative did a great job in keeping the community engaged with one another despite physical restrictions, almost everyone indicated that they would like to have a physical conference next year to meet, chat, drink and dine. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that.

“The time and technologies are now right to align around a common and agreed future vision. If we can do this, the future is bright for our industry”, Tait said in his keynote address.

I couldn’t agree more, and look forward to your continued support.


APPMC – Day 1 Highlights


Three goals for gold sector

Make physical gold accessible, aim at absolute transparency across the gold supply chain and make gold fungible across platforms.

Mr David Tait, CEO, World Gold Council

LBMA invites consultations

LBMA invites consultation from market participants on Responsible Gold Guidance Version-9 and Global Precious Metals Code 2021.

Ms Ruth Crowell, CEO, LBMA

New opportunity in India

International Bullion Exchange, to be formed by a consortium of five institutions – NSE, BSE, MCX, CDSL and NSDL, would provide a unique opportunity for global bullion banks, refiners and other market participants to participant and grow India bullion market.

Mr Manoj Kumar, ED, IFSCA

Indonesia embarks on bullion banking journey

Indonesia is embarking on its journey to streamline the gold sector. We expect to have a full-fledged bullion banking by 2024.

Dr Adi Budiarso, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia

Online business would become integral to customer acquisition and growth in future of Malaysia gold jewellery sector.

Mr Ermin Siow, Advisor, Federation of Goldsmith and Jewellers Association, Malaysia

Organised players are in a better position to manage the crisis. PNJ would like to consolidate and grow its presence across Vietnam, before venturing out.

Mr Le Tri Throng, PNJ Jewellery Group

Silver has a huge upside potential due to growing industrial demand while at the same time investor’s reluctance to commit capex on new mining projects. However, it may not immediately reflect on prices.

Mr Bart Melek, Head of Commodity Strategy, TD Securities

Future direction of gold would be directed by real interest rates.

Mr John Reade, Chief Market Strategist, WGC

Platinum is relatively inexpensive to gold and palladium. With growing consensus on fuel-cells as climate-friendly tech for mobility, Pt demand is likely to increase and hence, its attractiveness as an investment.

Mr Trevor Raymond, Director of Research, World Platinum Investment Council


APPMC – Day 2 Highlights


SGEI Special Session on China

In the “Gold Road” project, SGE has launched business models such as “Gold Leasing + Jewellery Processing” and “Standard Gold Ingot Processing and Re-export”. Market participants from Thailand and Singapore have made full use of China’s high-quality design capabilities in jewellery and the convenient investment and financing channels of SGE.

Ms Zhao Fanghua, Shanghai Gold Exchange International

Chow Tai Fook (CTF) opened its stores in six Asean countries. ‘We can leverage our experience in China to grow these markets. Fast growth and government programmes such as RCEP would be enablers of growth in ASEAN markets. CTF feels grow in gold jewellery would continue for a long time in China.

Mr Kent Wong Sui-Kee, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group

GoldZip, a gold backed token from CGSE, planned for launch in Q3’21 and will soon be available in Singapore. Gold backed tokens are treated as payment tokens in Singapore by the regulator, which is the right thing to do. So, we want to launch GoldZip in Singapore

Mr Barry Ip, Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange

Two macro trends that would influence EM Asia are (1) the possibility of low interest rate regime for a long time and (2) the growing influence of CNY. Low interest regime might prompt change in investment behaviour including portfolio diversification. Trade integration and currency integration would make EM Asia a de facto CNY block.

Mr Sin Beng Ong, J.P. Morgan

China imports 2/3 of its gold consumption from HK. Bank of China based in HK facilitates a lot of it. T+D is the most vibrant and liquid contract in SGE. Exemption of storage fees and other fees is a great enabler to participate in SGEI. BoC full supports interconnection of China and Asean gold markets. BoC is committed to facilitating free-movement of gold along the Belt and Road Countries.

Mr Liang Weiye, Terron, Bank of China

Gold tokens such as Cache Gold can potentially reduce carbon footprint by avoiding needless transport. Gold tokens make the market truly decentralised

Mr Karim Raffa, Cache

Carbon-neutral gold is a new market waiting to happen with digitisation of gold. It is a new asset and institutional investors adopting ESG would seek such products soon

Mr Jon Deane, Trovio

Transparency of provenance tracking through Bullion Integrity Ledger addresses several unique challenges of the value chain participants. Digitisation increases overall efficiencies for all participants.

Mr Urs Roosli, Axedras



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