Singapore: The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) has been approved by the Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) for foreign associate corporate membership, reports yourminingnews.com. This marks the first in a series of strategic initiatives the WPIC is developing in 2016 to stimulate investor demand for physical platinum and increase the number and type of platinum investment opportunities available in Asia.
The SBMA was formed in 1993 to promote Singapore as a precious metals ‘hub’ in Southeast Asia and its existing members include ICBC Standard Bank Plc, Bank of Nova Scotia, J.P. Morgan, and UOB Bullion & Futures Ltd.
Marcus Grubb, Director of Market Development at the WPIC, said, “Singapore represents one of the most important wealth management markets globally with USD 0.5 trillion in assets and offers world-class infrastructure and a strong and growing financial centre. It is also a growing hub for precious metals investment and the industry value chain with strong government backing for the precious metals business.”
“We believe that Singapore offers an abundance of market development opportunities for both retail and institutional platinum investment products including coins and bars, accumulation plans, Exchange Traded Funds and listed platinum Bullion Coin Custodial Certificates. We look forward to supporting the SBMA’s efforts to develop Singapore’s position as the preeminent hub for precious metals in Southeast Asia.”
Commenting on the announcement, Albert Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the SBMA, said, “The WPIC is coming to Singapore at an interesting time in the market’s development. Since the removal of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2012, there has been a real step-change in Singapore’s prominence as a major hub for precious metals trading and investment, a position we are working hard to consolidate. The WPIC membership will undoubtedly contribute to our efforts by strengthening the region’s range and availability of investor products.”
The SBMA membership is the latest market development announcement from WPIC, following the news in late 2015 that the organization has entered into an exclusive agreement with Rand Merchant Bank to extend the global availability of the Bullion Coin Custodial Certificate (BCCC). WPIC is actively seeking BCCC launch partners to offer this new product, which provides investors with a safe, secure and cost effective method of purchasing and owning platinum coins and other precious metals.
The WPIC has been consulting with a number of local market authorities as it establishes a comprehensive pipeline of initiatives, including International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.
Satvinder Singh, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore added, “WPIC brings knowledge, experience and technical expertise in platinum as an investment, complementing SBMA’s role as a major Association for precious metals for the region. This partnership will further strengthen Singapore’s position as Asia’s precious metals trading hub and the continued development of platinum in the region.”