Singapore Bullion Market Association

Hot Topics Under the Microscope at the Inaugural 2023 Malaysia Gold Conference


Organised by the Malaysia Gold Association (MGA), the event provided first-hand information from local and foreign gold veterans, as well as industry associations working to grow and develop the Malaysian gold market. Guests included Bulat Sugurbayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Malaysia.

The welcoming remarks were given by Haji Abdul Wahab Hamid, honorary secretary of MGA, followed by an opening speech by Louis Ng, founder and executive chairman of Public Gold (PG) Group and president of MGA. Chirag Sheth, principal consultant of Metals Focus, shed light on the global gold market and its outlook in 2023. Sheth explained that gold prices are likely to increase due to the easing of US inflation, raising hopes of a lower peak in US interest rates compared to the Fed’s projections. He also mentioned that the weaker dollar would lend support to the gold price.

Albert Cheng, CEO of SBMA, elaborated on the types of gold available to institutions and consumers. He highlighted the benefits of gold, including returns, liquidity, diversification, portfolio protection, and long-term optimisation. Cheng cautioned investors to check the premium of physical gold products, including making charges and vendor’s profits, since not all are created equal. He gave the audience a general rule of thumb: the larger the piece, such as 50 and 100-gram bars, the more cost-efficient it would be, as small gram bars attract a higher premium compared to the prevailing international gold price. Proof-finished and thematic gold bars, medallions, and coins usually bear much higher premiums due to higher production value. Investors need to understand that a higher portion of their purchase price goes to the making charges, which producers cannot recover if they sell them back as scrap precious metal, he explained.

Albert Cheng, SBMA CEO, receiving a token of appreciation from Louis Ng, MGA president. Image provided by Public Gold.

The last session by Ermin Siow, advisor to the Federation of Goldsmiths and Jewellers Association of Malaysia, detailed the current situation of the Malaysian gold market. Siow said that Malaysia had recovered well after the pandemic in various sectors, including gold jewelry exports, IPM investment products, and domestic gold jewelry consumption, as illustrated by the annual reports of the two listed companies, Poh Kong and Tomei. Thanks to the general government financial support to the industry and individuals, which helped to release the pent-up demand from the lockdown period, leading to 2022 being a good year. The gold mining sector is small, with five operating mines in Malaysia, two active gold mines in Pahang and Sabah, and total output has returned to 5 tonnes annually.


MGA also invited Ryan Long, head of commodity derivatives at Bursa Malaysia, to present a short introduction on the Bursa Malaysia gold derivatives contract. Long shared that Bursa Malaysia recently revamped and enhanced its Gold Futures (FGLD) contract, allowing investors to have immediate exposure to international gold price movements. Its uniqueness is trading gold denominated in US Dollars, but cash settled in Malaysia Ringgit, giving retail investors exposure to the international trading market with the convenience of settlement in local currency.

The conference also saw the launch of the Malaysia Gold Automated Teller Machine (ATM) by Public Gold, with the ceremony officiated by the Kazakh Ambassador Sugurbayev, Danny Ooi, founder and advisor of The Malaysia Book of Records, Louis Ng, founder and executive chairman of Public Gold (PG) Group and president of MGA, and Yvonne Lim, executive director of PG Group.

The launch of the Malaysia Gold ATM Ceremony Image provided by Public Gold.

The Malaysia Gold ATM allows consumers to purchase physical gold bars with a purity of 999.9, ranging up to 5 grams, at the push of a button. These gold bars, known as Gram Gold Bars, come in eye-catching designs featuring popular characters from Disney, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros, Juventus, Garfield, Ejen Ali, and Monsta, among others, to encourage consumers to buy them for personal collection, gift-giving, and physical gold trading purposes. Ng stated that the company aims to install 50 ATMs in 2023, placing them in high-traffic areas such as airports and theme parks, to make gold buying more accessible.

The Malaysia Gold Association is looking forward to hosting the Malaysia Gold Conference as an annual event to promote the local gold market to the community and international players.