Singapore Bullion Market Association

Article List

Article List

Singapore Showcases Growing Role in Regional Bullion Market at 2nd Asia Pacific Precious Metals Conference


Published on September 19, 2018
MOU signing between VGTA and SBMA, represented by SBMA Chairman Martin Huxley and VGTA Deputy Chairman Do Minh Phu.

Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA), with the support of Enterprise Singapore, welcomed 358 delegates from 173 companies in 29 countries to the second Asia Pacific Precious Metals Conference in early June. The event, which is a platform for developing and strengthening a unified body in ASEAN and Asia Pacific for the bullion market, brought together industry participants and stakeholders for two days of discussions, sharing of best practices, networking, and more.

The growth of the conference since its inaugural edition in 2017 is “an indication that Singapore has become a strong, vibrant marketplace for gold marketplace participants”, Guest of Honour, Deputy Chief Executive of Enterprise Singapore, Mr Ted Tan, said in his opening address. He highlighted that the continued shift of global gold demand to the east bodes well for Singapore, which is strategically located between mineral-rich countries and major demand centres, and that the country is well-positioned to facilitate such international trade flows, given its strong network of precious metals players and ecosystem of supporting services.

Mr Tan also pointed out that the volume of gold traded out of Singapore has been growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 40%, reaching over 1,700 tonnes in 2016. The total traded volume of precious metals scrap grew even faster, at a compound annual growth rate of 124%, reaching 520 tonnes in 2016.

The conference also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Vietnam Gold Traders Association, represented by Deputy Chairman Mr Do Minh Phu, and SBMA, represented by Chairman Mr Martin Huxley, to foster closer cooperation between Singapore and Vietnam on the development of the Vietnamese gold market.

According to Mr Huynh Trung Khanh (Managing Director, Vietnam Gold Consultants), who spoke at the conference roundtable on ASEAN gold markets, Vietnam’s gold market is going through a period of liberalisation – there will be no more licensing on jewellery manufacturing and trading, and the state will allow the import of raw gold material by key jewellery manufacturers. Additionally, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is drafting a new Gold Management Policy, which will provide the base for a future Gold Monetization Scheme and its derivatives Gold Metal Loan or Gold Sovereign Bond.

“Vietnamese gold market players have an established relationship with many SBMA members that goes back to the last decade when physical trading was active in Vietnam; the hiatus for the past 4 years was due to SBV’s intervention to control inflation and adjust the balance of payment. The situation has improved, as SBV is now ready to reopen the market. The signing of MOU between us on closer cooperation is a testament to our long-term relationship and their value on our inputs in the further development of the gold market in Vietnam”, SBMA CEO Mr Albert Cheng said.

The first keynote address by Dr Paul Fisher (Chairman, London Bullion Market Association) focused on global risks – in particular for the Asian gold market. He cited the three main risks to be international regulatory changes, monetary and fiscal policy changes, and climate and sustainability, which he called “the biggest existential threat to global and Asian economies and markets”, and closed by saying, “Forget the politics – this is about business opportunities and risks. Precious metals have a role to play in both”.

In the second keynote, Mr Alistair Hewitt (Director, Market Intelligence Group, World Gold Council) discussed the changes that can be expected in the gold market in the next five to ten years and its implications for Asia Pacific countries. “Gold is a rapidly developing landscape … no one knows how things will pan out”, he said, but cited four trends he thinks will have the most impact: 1) increase in wealth in Asia Pacific, 2) changing consumer preferences, 3) exchange traded funds (ETFs) making gold more accessible, and 4) markets opening up and becoming more efficient.

The last keynote, by Mr Lianhui Ning (Vice General Manager, Shanghai International Gold Exchange), was about SGE’s efforts to create a “world-class comprehensive gold exchange”, and how it has been pursuing market-oriented improvements and internationalisation. In particular, he cited the cross-border cooperation that has been taking place under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the opportunities there has been to strengthen product innovation, establish overseas delivery routes, and better serve the diversified needs of international markets.

The conference also saw sessions that focused on regional market opportunities, technology, precious metals management policies, growing the precious metals supply chain, and building a harmonised and fungible kilobar market in Asia.

Guest of Honor, Enterprise Singapore Deputy CEO Ted Tan, delivering the Welcome Address.
Huynh Trung Khanh from Vietnam Gold Traders Association speaking at the roundtable on ASEAN gold markets.
London Bullion Market Association Chaiman Paul Fisher speaking about global risks and its effects on the Asian gold market, the first Keynote Address.
Alistair Hewitt, Director, Market Intelligence Group, World Gold Council delivering the second keynote address, ‘The Gold Market in the Next Five to Ten Years and its Implications on Asia Pacific Countries’.
Lianhui Ning from Shanghai Gold Exchange International speaking on ‘Development on the Back of Marketization and Internationalization’.
Kilobar stakeholders roundtable on brand preference, premium disparity and fungibility.

I would like to thank all our delegates for their overwhelming support. The attendance here has been tremendous and obviously reflects the interest of the region. We believe it is now one of the major events in the bullion calendar. We look forward to welcoming delegates at the 3rd edition of APPMC in June 2019.

Martin Huxley


It is a really enjoyable conference. I am impressed by the enthusiasm of the attendees to share ideas. This is a huge potential market for growth and at the same time, standards need to be built and policies need to be placed to support the network. So, it has been wonderful conference and Albert Cheng and SBMA have really done an excellent job.

Alistair Hewitt

World Gold Council

I think it is well organised. I like the fact that participants are from different domains of the supply chain. This is very important to us. I would say that this conference is more supply chain focused and I must admit that this conference is better in this perspective than most of the other conferences I have attended.

Fred Jones

Jutland Capital Management Ltd

It has been a very strategic conference for Singapore. We have the presence of all industry people here. Some of the topics are very interesting and most importantly participants have come from various places of the world to exchange their views and ideas. I am looking forward to this conference happening on an annual basis.

Baskaran Narayanan

Brink’s Global

It was a fantastic event as always and for me and LBMA. It is now a standing feature in our annual agenda and so we look forward to participating in it next year. I liked two things most in the conference – first, the content is original and high level, and second, the participation is varied.

Ruth Crowell


This is SBMA’s second conference and I feel they have done an extremely good job. I find extremely good speakers and I think this conference has extremely strong relevance considering the location and attended delegation. And, of course, I am already a big fan of this conference.

Nicholas Frappell

ABC Bullion

We came across amazing companies and had great meetings. It is especially significant because this part of the world is completely new to us. Next year we will be definitely be here with a bigger presence and I recommend others to come because if anyone wants to explore Asia, this is the best place to come to initiate networking and build relationships in the region.

Francesco Cattoni


I am really enjoying the conference – it is always nice to come back to Singapore. LBMA now has permanent members based in Hong Kong to be a voice in Asia. We need to make sure that various initiatives that we have taken in respect of standards and codes must be understood in Asia to maintain the integrity of the global market

Paul Fisher