New GOLD & SILVER VAULT in HONG KONG – Targeting ASIA’s WEALTHY ELITE
Hong Kong’s largest gold-storage facility, which can hold about 22 percent of the bullion now in Fort Knox, will open in September to meet rising demand from banks and the wealthy, according to owner Malca-Amit Global Ltd. (3271)
The facility, located on the ground floor of a building within the international airport compound, has capacity for 1,000 metric tons, said Joshua Rotbart, general manager for the Hong Kong-based company’s Malca-Amit Precious Metals unit. Two of the vaults may hold assets, including gold, for banks and financial institutions, and others will be used for diamonds, jewelry, fine art and precious metals, said Rotbart.
The move in Hong Kong reflects increased demand for gold in Asia even as the commodity struggles to sustain its rally into a 12th year. Gold-demand growth in China, the world’s second- largest user after India last year, is slowing, according to the World Gold Council. Vault charges will depend on each customer’s operations, according to Rotbart, who declined to give a figure for the venture’s cost beyond millions of dollars.
“Hong Kong is a very important center for gold, especially because it acts as a doorway to China,” said Sunil Kashyap, head of Asia-Pacific foreign exchange and precious metals at Scotiabank. “Current international hubs are in New York, Zurich and London. There’s still a need to set up an Asian hub for physical gold. The trend is for more people to look at storage and trading in Asia, when it comes to physical metal.”
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Immediate-delivery gold rallied from 2001 to 2011 as investors sought protection from weaker currencies and the risk of inflation, and central banks boosted holdings.
The week after Cyprus said in March it would impose a levy on bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros ($132,000) amid Europe’s debt crisis, Rene Buchwalder’s business boomed.
“This bar is one of the best sellers,” the former UBS banker said in the vault of his gold and silver trading company Pro Aurum. He reached into a stone-grey safe holding neatly stacked coins and selected a 100-gram tablet.
“You can break it into individual pieces and use it as money in case the European Union goes under.”
As the euro-area went through a record-long recession, and only edged back to growth last quarter, demand for storing gold bars and coins in Swiss vaults has been rising.
Even as the price of the metal has declined more than 20 percent this year, some investors see gold as less risky than other assets such as bonds, where debtors may not be able to pay, or equity in a company that may go out of business
Swiss gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz tells King World News today that Swiss banks are obstructing their clients trying to remove gold to private vaults. Von Greyerz adds that gold’s downtrend is over and its uptrend will accelerate soon. The World Is Now On The Edge Of A Massive Collapse Egon von Greyerz warned King World News that the world is now on the edge of a massive collapse. Geryerz also cautioned investors that banks are now making it harder for their clients to get physical gold out of the banking system.
Australia’s ANZ bank is the latest to open a gold vault in the Singapore Freeport area next to the city state’s Changi airport. Other recent vault builders there include Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan, while Switzerland’s Metalor has one under construction and due to open in a couple of month’s time. Together with new gold vault openings in Hong Kong this is yet another outward sign of the continued flight of gold from West to East, although the vaults are also servicing western precious metals investors seeking safe, and relatively low cost vaulting facilities outside of the traditional depositories in the U.S. and Europe. Now either the Western bullion banks have misjudged the power that gold still retains in the global psyche and as a key financial instrument, or the Asian investors and governments, which are continuing to accumulate gold at a high rate, have got it wrong.