EDITORIALBy KL Yap, Chairman, Singapore Bullion Market Association
Dear members and friends,
Despite turbulent markets and instability owing to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the precious metals business in Singapore and the region has continued to receive much interest and is growing in strength.
The Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) hopes to play a pivotal role in building a regional community and network for the precious metals sector, and our newly elected Management Committee, which comprises leading market leaders and experts in the bullion industry, is a testament to that goal. The Committee includes bullion banks (J.P. Morgan, ICBC Standard Bank Plc, TD Securities), leading industry advocates (World Gold Council), global secured logistics firms (Brink’s Global Services Pte Ltd), financial institutions (StoneX APAC Pte Ltd), international bullion firms (YLG Bullion Singapore Pte Ltd, MTS Gold Global Trading Pte Ltd), and an LBMA accredited refinery (Metalor Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd).
The new Management Committee team and Secretariat have more than 30 years of experience and exceptional market reach-out abilities both regionally and globally. The Association’s membership base has also grown from 37 to 50 over five years from 2017 to 2022. We aim to attract and increase the member base to 57 by the end of 2023.
Despite the lockdown and travel restrictions in many countries, SBMA remains accessible to our regional and global partners/members through informal/formal virtual meetings and conferences, promoting Singapore as a precious metal trading hub.
At the recent SBMA webinar on 24 February, I shared that SBMA will continue to strengthen our connectivity with London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), World Gold Council (WGC), World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC), Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) and Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange (CGSE), through close exchange and dialogues.
Some of the joint efforts/initiatives include:
Collaboration with LBMA
- Responsible Gold Sourcing – Members of the SBMA would embrace the Responsible Gold Guidance V.9. and encourage the implementation of the Code of Conduct in accordance with their scope of business.
Collaboration with WGC
- Retail Gold Investment Principles “RGIPs”, to promote transparent and fair practice among retail investment service providers.
- Professional Development Curriculum, to attract and train the future batch of market professionals.
Collaboration with Ministry of Law and Enterprise Singapore (ESG)
SBMA will also work closely with the Ministry to help members understand and enforce the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) initiative, and continue to work closely with ESG to build Singapore as a precious metal hub.
Since 2013, Singapore has established a strong foundation/position as the precious metal trading hub in the region. We have world-class international bullion banks, financial institutions, secured logistics companies providing price discovery, custodian and risk management services.
Metalor Technologies Singapore Pte Ltd, the only LBMA accredited gold refinery, has also been working closely with all these crucial partners towards meeting the physical bullion demands both regional & globally.
Lately, the offering of real-time digital gold by some local banks and financial institutions allows investors further flexibility to trade 24/5 on the go with smaller transaction fees. It is also interesting to observe the evolvement and growth in this digital gold sector, especially the participation of existing industry stakeholders in meeting the demand of these investors.
The annual Asia Pacific Precious Metal Conference (APPMC), held in June, remains a key event for SBMA to connect with the global bullion industry leaders and partners.
Amid heightened interest in the region, and growing communications efforts among our members, the SBMA Secretariat will continue to provide marketing and event management support to members throughout communication channels, including in Crucible, as well as on our website and social media channels.
The gold price has recently traded at a record high of US$2,070 and remains near US$2,000 an ounce, attributing to the ongoing Ukraine/Russia geopolitical tension and US inflation accelerating to 7.9%, resulting in a new four-decade high in February.
We envisage more price volatility in the forthcoming months, which I am sure will keep bullion industry participants busily engaged in 2022. I look forward to working more closely with you going forward, and seek your support in growing the Association from strength to strength.
KL YapChairman, Singapore Bullion Market Association
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