Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.North Korean Chinese Proxy vs US Military Empire Trending Towards Nuclear War! - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Researchers Find $10 Billion Hidden Treasure In A Dead Volcano - OilPrice_Com
3.Gold and Silver : The Battle for Control - Rambus_Chartology
4.Asda Sales Collapse and Profits Crash! UK Retailer Sector Crisis 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Deep State Conspiracy or Chaos - James_Quinn
6.The Stock Market Guns of August, Trade Set-Up & Removing your Rose Tinted Glasses - Plunger
7.Gold Stocks Coiled Spring - Zeal_LLC
8.Neil Howe: The Amazon-Walmart Rivalry Will Determine the Future of Retail - John_Mauldin
9.Crude Oil Price Precious Metals Link in August - Nadia_Simmons
10.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Nearing Breakout - Jordan_Roy_Byrne
Last 7 days
Global Financial Crisis 10 Years On: Gold Rises 100% from $650 to $1,300 - 23rd Aug 17
GBP/USD Extends Losses - 23rd Aug 17
Donald Trump Terrorist in Chief, “We Aren’t Nation-Building Again, We Are Killing Terrorists” - 23rd Aug 17
How Planned Fed Rate Increases Impact The National Debt & Deficits - 23rd Aug 17
The 3 Assets to Add to Your Stocks Portfolio in This Rate Tightening Cycle - 23rd Aug 17
Half Price UK Theme Parks Entry 2017 With Cheap Chocolate Packs - 23rd Aug 17
[GIFT] Market Control System! - 23rd Aug 17
4 Reasons European Stocks Will Make a Big Comeback This Year - 22nd Aug 17
3 Lesser-Known Charts Revealing a Massive Stock Market Disconnect - 22nd Aug 17
U.S. Treasury Secretary: "I Assume Fort Knox Gold Is Still There" - 22nd Aug 17
Is the Stock Market Setting itself up for a Spectacular Crash? - 22nd Aug 17
Power Elites Launches Civil War Against Trump - 22nd Aug 17
The Stock Market No Longer Cares About Trump - 21st Aug 17
The Coming Boom Of Productivity Will Get Our Economy Back On Track - 21st Aug 17
Buffett Sees Stock Market Crash Coming? His Cash Speaks Louder Than Words - 21st Aug 17
This Could Be The Biggest Gold Discovery In History - 21st Aug 17
Stock Market Correction in Full Swing - 21st Aug 17
Seeking Confirmations – US Stock Market - 21st Aug 17
The changing demographic of online gamblers - 21st Aug 17
Gold is a coiled spring… the breakout is here, fundamentals are in place, technicals are compelling - 20th Aug 17
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Buy Gold and Silver - 20th Aug 17
Gold Mining Stocks 2017 Fundamentals - 20th Aug 17
EIA Weekly Report and Crude Oil - 19th Aug 17
4 Insights for Adjusting Your Portfolio in a Rate-hike Environment - 19th Aug 17
Gold Direction Indicator - 19th Aug 17
Historical Inevitability and Gold and Silver Ownership - 19th Aug 17
You Are Being Lied To About “Low” Gold Demand - 19th Aug 17
This is Why Cocoa's Crash Was a Perfect Setup - 19th Aug 17
Gold, Silver Consolidate On Last Weeks Gains, Palladium Surges 36% YTD To 16 Year High - 19th Aug 17
North Korea Is Far From Being Irrational… It Has A Plan - 18th Aug 17
US Civil War - FUNCTIONAL ILLITERATES TRYING TO ERASE HISTORY - 18th Aug 17
Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High Over $4,400 As It Catches Paypal In Total Market Cap - 17th Aug 17
3 Psychological Ingredients behind Great Web Content - 17th Aug 17
The War on Cash - Rogoff, Orwell and Kafka - 17th Aug 17
The Stock Market Guns of August, Trade Set-Up & Removing your Rose Tinted Glasses - 16th Aug 17
Stocks, Bonds, Interest Rates, and Serbia, Camp Kotok 2017 - 16th Aug 17
U.S. Stock Market: Sunrise ... Sunset - 16th Aug 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Where Now for China's Gold Market?

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2012 Nov 12, 2012 - 07:07 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe latest from the London Bullion Market Association conference in Hong Kong...

THE ANNUAL conference of the London Bullion Market Association – the "premier professional forum for the world's bullion market" as Haywood Cheung of the 100-year old Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange put it this morning – is taking place right now in Hong Kong.


The timing could hardly seem more urgent. Hong Kong has always had great importance to the global precious metals market – particularly since the 1970s, as several speakers noted on Monday, day one of the LBMA's two-day 2012 conference. But while Hong Kong's dominance as Asia's bullion hub may yet be challenged (it beat off "stiff competition" to be this year's Asian LBMA venue, Cheung writes in the South China Morning Post; Singapore removed general sales tax from gold last month, and now its gleaming new freeport vaults are already booked out, with a second facility being discussed), it's Hong Kong which remains "the gateway to China".

And China remains the big prize for the record 700+ delegates from 279 different miners, refiners, banks, dealers and secure logistics providers gathered here from 39 countries.

"China's appetite for gold has increased rapidly," explained Albert Cheng, managing director for the Far East at market-development organization the World Gold Council after lunch today, "with gold demand growing by an average 24% per annum since 2007.

"China's share of global gold demand doubled from 10% in 2007 to 21% in 2011." And as Cheng's chart shows above, China in fact overtook world #1 consumer India in the first half of 2012.

None of this happened by accident. Not according to keynote speaker Xie Duo – general director of the People's Bank of China. Listing China's #1 position in both gold mining production and now consumer demand, "Gold plays a very important role in the formation of the financial market system," he explained – repeating what PBoC governor  Zhou Xiaochuan told the LBMA's 2004 conference in Shanghai, and then reminding the grand ballroom of the plan which Zhou then set out:

#1. Transform gold from a commodity to a financial investment market: The Shanghai Gold Exchange now boasts 33 financial members, and 3 million individual clients. Meantime, more than 30 commercial banks are active end-to-end in gold, offering both physical and paper gold, and acting as "an important channel for Chinese citizens to be involved."

#2. Transform it from an immediate-delivery to derivative market

Deferred settlement was launched on the Shanghai Gold Exchange in 2004, in a bid to allow greater trading volumes without being hit by shortages . From 2008 to 2010, it accounted for over 60% of the SGE's volume, rising to 73% in 2011. Compared to other "spot" contracts worldwide, said Xie, it's now the most heavily traded, with turnover of 6,000 tonnes last year.

#3. Transform China's trading from a domestic to an international market

Twenty-four hour trading is crucial today, the PBoC general director said. So in 2005 the SGE launched its night-time session, to overlap with the afternoon in London's physical market and morning trade in New York's Comex gold futures. Now that period – from 21:00 to 02:30 – accounts for a third of total SGE volume. It's particularly welcome for those foreign banks which have become members of the exchange, starting with HSBC in 2008.

All this adds up to "big progress in the Chinese gold market," Xie said. "But there is still a long way to go." And which way is that? Remember, we are in China.

"Frankly speaking, this success is the result of free choice by the market and the support of policy," Xie went on. "The government took effective measures to guarantee smooth development."

In particular, late last year it banned the "illegal" gold market, closing down all trading centers outside the officially recognized and managed Shanghai Gold Exchange and the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE). The concern was that "the gold price rise had led to a surge in domestic demand, and that led to margin-trading businesses using overseas derivatives contracts as the underlying asset. That was very risky because of the leverage. So the government is fighting the underground market."

Laying out his own "proposal" for how China's gold market should develop from here, Xie made this concern – the level of risk worn by China's citizen traders – the basis for 3 steps in his 5-step plan. In fact, together with the parallel aim of "guid[ing] investors to trade on the legitimate platforms", keeping a tight rein on free-market provision of gold products pretty much sums it up:

#1. Ensure development of mature market

#2. Perfect the laws, rules and relative policies

#3. Perfect the mechanism of risk aversion and investor protection

#4. Strengthen the market system & accelerate innovation

#5. Promote further opening to the outside world

That last point is for "later on", Xie added, with China's gold market only "fully opened" to foreign players once the other planks are assured. No, this doesn't yet cut both ways; the giant ICBC bank gained approval to buy a major investment bank's operations in Argentina. Yes, the Communist Party may have long considered it "glorious to get rich", but its brand of capitalism remains very alien to the developed West's idea of financial fun.

Seeing the trouble that has caused, however, you might forgive China's leaders for wanting to marry strict regulation with a boom in financial services. Gold investors everywhere might want to thank the bureaucrats' strong hand, too.

"Is China's gold investment demand sustainable?" asked Albert Cheng of the China/Asia panel this afternoon. Yes, replied Zheng Zhiguang, general manager of precious metals at ICBC. Because over the next 10 years, there will be "very stable, progressive economic development. So household incomes will continue to grow. It's in the government's plan."

Put another way, and again looking at the question of a "hard landing" for Chinese consumers and therefore their double-digit gold demand growth rate, "Beijing has tremendous means to achieve its growth targets," said Professor Yu Yongding, a former PBOC member and now at the Institute of World Economics and Politics, just before the conference's morning break.

Western gold owners should hope he's right.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay   |   Buy gold online at live prices

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2012

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.


© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife