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INTL FCStone – Connecting Asia to Global Market Opportunities

By INTL FCStone

Published on June 1, 2017
An aerial view of Singapore’s Central Business District and Marina Bay; Notice the container ships docked at sea (Chensiyuan/Creative Commmons).

Financial services company INTL FCStone, which operates in more than 130 countries around the world through a network of 40 offices, opened its Singapore office in 2006, recognising gold’s migration from West to East, the rise of thriving Asian economies, and the region’s enormous growth potential. INTL Asia’s Head of Precious Metals – Asia, Martin Huxley, talks to Crucible about the company’s operations here and how the company is bringing new levels of market access for its customers.

INTL FCStone began trading physical bullion in the early 2000’s. Over the next few years, the company assembled a team of experienced industry experts to serve its expanding global customer base. Recognising gold’s migration from West to East, the rise of thriving Asian economies, and the region’s enormous growth potential, INTL FC Stone opened its first Asian office in Singapore in 2006, trading under the name INTL Asia Pte Ltd, with the objective of adding unique value for Asian market participants.

In subsequent years, the firm established offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Sydney. More than 10 years later, Singapore remains the company’s largest office in the region, operating as its Asian hub, housing operational and risk management teams that support all its businesses.

Beyond Asia, INTL FCStone has precious metals teams located in Dubai, London and the United States, with consultants operating in India, Africa, Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Singapore remains the company’s largest office in the region, operating as its Asian hub.

Recently, INTL FCStone Limited, London, became a Direct Participant of the London Gold Auction, a significant milestone for its precious metal business and the company as a whole.

International access, local understanding

Today, INTL FCStone’s precious metals team in Asia delivers market access to all of the key regional markets, and includes speakers of Vietnamese, Thai, Bahasa, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Customers can trade physical gold through INTL FCStone’s online, physical premium-based platform, PMXecute+, the first of its kind in the international bullion market. The platform connects customers with the company’s global network of suppliers, where customers can peruse physical bullion offers from suppliers or submit requests for quotes, and INTL acts as principal to every trade. The entire process is automated, drastically simplifying discovery, trading, logistics and documentation.

The Precious Metals Asia team also offers electronic access to margin trading for precious metals, and can assist with developing innovative risk management solutions for customers looking to hedge their precious metal exposure. Clients are able to buy and sell bullion in non-USD currencies including SGD and AUD via the company’s online trading platform, PMXecute, or by calling the Singapore dealing desk.

Most importantly, the team prides itself on its knowledge of Far East bullion markets, and provides customers unrivalled support through funding, risk management, logistics and premier customer service and product offerings.

INTL Asia’s parent company is a US-listed public company, further providing financial stability, regulatory oversight, and a high degree of transparency in its operations, including regular news, filings, and reporting on its financial performance and activities.

We believe that Singapore will continue to be a critical access point for market participants in developing countries who are keen to plug into the global economy.

Global strength and resources

Prudent students of history know that gold nationalisation is real and has happened before. For example:

  • The Unites States nationalised all gold under its jurisdiction in 1933 (Executive Order 6102 for gold and Executive Order 6814 for silver in 1934).
  • UK banned gold between 1966 and 1979 to stem the decline of the pound’s value.
  • Australia still has a gold seizure law allowing for “seizure of gold if expedient to do so, for the protection of the currency or of the public credit of the Commonwealth” (Reserve Banking Act of 1959).

When the next major currency crisis occurs, there might be political pressure from highly indebted countries to repatriate gold. If these countries were to nationalise gold, what should happen to gold held by citizens of these countries in Singapore?

Singapore will likely state that private property is protected and that foreign jurisdictional authority to seize gold does not extend into Singapore. This response would be in line with protecting Singapore‘s most treasured assets: the rule of law and the confidence of investors.

Betraying this confidence could mean an economic disaster for Singapore. This is why the country is an excellent location to store physical gold and silver as an insurance against future crises and black swan events.

From Singapore,
Gregor Gregersen (a newly minted citizen of Singapore)

INTL FCStone in Asia: Quick Facts

Singapore office open since 2006

Direct Participant of the London Gold Auction

Bullion services:
  • Physical trading
  • Pricing in foreign currencies
  • Margin trading
  • Risk management
Deals in:
  • Refined products such as LBMA, non-LBMA bars (large bars, kilo bars, 100g bars)
  • Semi-refined products and doré
  • Scrap
  • Off-take arrangements
Other services in Singapore:
  • Global payments (175 countries)
  • Commodity hedging for dairy, grains, oilseeds and softs
  • Physical coal trading
Memberships (Asia & London):

SBMA, LBMA, LPPM, LME

Parent company:

INTL FCStone Inc.

Nasdaq:

INTL

Total assets:

US$5.95 billion

Markets traded:
  • Grains/Oilseeds
  • Metals
  • Securities
  • Energy
  • Dairy
  • Renewable Fuels
  • Softs
  • Meats/Livestock
  • Forest Products
  • Currencies
  • Financial Futures
Why did your company choose to make Singapore its hub for Asia precious metals, as well as other markets?

It was the most logical choice to complement our existing precious metals operations in the Americas and EMEA. The market ecosystem already existed and its location is ideal for conducting business both in Singapore and key neighbouring gold markets – including those operating now and those still being developed.

What value does INTL FCStone bring to this market?

We provide regional market participants with uninterrupted coverage and access to bullion markets using electronic solutions, risk management, and a highly experienced team. In addition, we open new markets for our clients and offer them access to the global bullion industry and its participants. Beyond that, we’re committed to being an integral part of the local economy through our Global Trader Programme status (operated by IE Singapore), through which we have made significant commitments in terms of expansion, business spending, and recruitment and training.

What do you see in the future for this market?

More growth, although this may occur at a slower pace. With the market expertise and infrastructure here, we believe that Singapore will continue to be a critical access point for market participants in developing countries who are keen to plug into the global economy. That advantage will drive future growth here.

— Martin Huxley, Head of Precious Metals – Asia, INTL Asia Pte Ltd

Contact

INTL Asia Pte Ltd
1 Raffles Place
#52-00 One Raffles Place
Singapore 048616

Tel: +65 6309 1000
Email: martin.huxley@intlfcstone.com
Web: www.intlfcstone.com

* This article was published in partnership with INTL FCStone