Singapore's drive to become gold hub continues

Singapore's plans to become a gold and precious metals hub took a key step forward Thursday.

Metalor Singapore – a newly created refinery in the Metalor Group – was added to the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) good delivery list.

“Metalor Singapore has also passed the LBMA’s exhaustive testing procedures, under which its gold bars were examined and assayed by independent referees, and its own assaying capabilities were tested,” Metalor said.

The refiner is located in Singapore City. Its primary sources of gold are scrap materials sourced from the jewelry sectors and its refined gold output is in the form of large gold bars for industry and institutional buyers.

Last month, Metalor Technologies opened its refining plant in Tuas, Singapore. The facility offers a complete range of refining services from evaluation of scrap to bullion production and is estimated to have a production capacity of up to 150 tonnes a year.

Speaking at the official opening, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said the gold industry will contribute significantly to Singapore’s economy. He said that it should create half a billion dollars (US$0.5 billion) extra value to the economy and generate 1,000 good professional, managerial, executive and technical jobs by 2020.

"We want to grow with the Asian market; that is the reason we wanted to be there," Hubert Angleys, CEO of Metalor Technologies, said. "We are located in the middle of the two largest gold consumer markets, China and India. We want to take advantage of this geographic location and certainly we are looking forward to getting metal from these two countries but also exporting, through our Singapore customers, metal to these two countries."

Singapore, already a banking, financial and wealth management hub in Asia, is ramping up its bid to become a center for gold trading that will rival London. Leading investment experts such as Jim Rogers, Jim Sinclair and Marc Faber have extolled the virtues of owning physical coins and bars in Singapore.

“Individuals are making a mistake if they’re holding all their assets in one country.…I still have the majority of my gold in Switzerland, but I am already moving gold to Asia,” Faber said.

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