Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.China Crash, Greece Collapse, Harbingers of Stock Market Apocalypse Forecast 2015? - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold Price Awaiting Outcome of Greece Crisis - Clive_Maund
3.Gold Price Peculiar 6 Month Cycles - Rambus_Chartology
4.Gold Price Just a Little Bit More - Bob_Loukas
5.8 Unprecedented Extremes Indicate a Stock Market Bubble in Trouble - EWI
6.Gold And Silver – Without Either, You Will Be Greeced - Michael_Noonan
7.Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics - James_Quinn
8.China Crash, Greece Crisis Harbingers of Stocks Bear Market? Video - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold and Silver Record Shorting - Zeal_LLC
10.Markets Big Deflationary Downwave Quick Reference Guide... - Clive_Maund
Last 5 days
Ibuprofen Warning - The Pain Killer that can Kill You! - 29th July 15
More Ritholtz on Gold, and Another Response - 29th July 15
Crude Oil Price Is Lower – and You’re Richer - 29th July 15
U.S. Home Sales Market Is Dead – This Chart Proves It - 29th July 15
Greece- What Happens When Economists Talk Politics - 29th July 15
The Gold - U.S. House Prices Ratio As A Valuation Indicator - 29th July 15
Will Crude Oil Price Decline Continue? -Video - 28th July 15
Gold & Silver Money Has Devolved Into Debt and Plastic - 28th July 15
Buy and "Own Gold Krugerrands" Says Money Expert Jim Grant, Very Bullish on Gold - 28th July 15
How to Protect Yourself from China's Crashing Stock Market - 28th July 15
Quantum Geopolitics - 28th July 15
Gold Mining Stocks to Weather the Storm - 28th July 15
Stock Market Bulls Beware! - 28th July 15
Will Chinese Stock Market Crash Affect the US? - 27th July 15
Crude Oil Price Under $48! - 27th July 15
Are We Seeing a Trend Reversal with U.S. Interest Rates? - 27th July 15
How to Know When the Gold Bear Market is Over - 27th July 15
Gold Bear Market Phase III - 27th July 15
Silver Bull Hammer Buy Signal - 27th July 15
Gold Cracks Support and Plunges to New Lows - How Low Will Price Go? - 27th July 15
Commodity Markets Breakdown Of 2015 Is Now A Fact - 26th July 15
Gold Price at a Five-Year Low: Here’s What to Do - 26th July 15
Stock Market Primary III Inflection Point - 26th July 15
Central Banks and Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets - 25th July 15
Gold And Silver - The US Dollar Does Not Exist, Part II - 25th July 15
How Wall Street Put Apple Stock in Animal House - 25th July 15
How to Trade Markets Using the Stochastic Oscillator - Video - 24th July 15
A Bond Market Crisis Is Coming... Here's What to Do - 24th July 15
Why There's Resistance to the Iran Nuclear Deal - 24th July 15
Absurd Gold Stock Levels - 24th July 15
Gold Mining Stocks Nearing Rebound - 24th July 15
Misperceptions Create Significant Bond Market Value - 24th July 15
Commodities Distressed Investing - 24th July 15
OPEC Shorts Are Driving Down the Crude Oil Price - 24th July 15
USD Index Rebounds - 24th July 15
If You’re Worried About a Tech Bubble, You’re Focusing on the Wrong Thing - 24th July 15
Gold Stocks Bear Market Bottom Buying Opportunity? - Video
The Stealth War on the United States - 23rd July 15
Commodity Prices, Gold and Silver Stocks Next Leg Down - 23rd July 15
The ‘Real’ Reason the Fed Wants to Raise Interest Rates - 23rd July 15
Crude Oil Price Slump is a Once in a Decade Opportunity to Make Money, Guaranteed - 23rd July 15
Gold Price Hits a 5-Year Low: How to Time the Next MAJOR Bottom - 22nd July 15
Silver and the Deflation Thesis - 22nd July 15
Gold Price Crash - Trend Forecast 2015, Gold Stocks Buying Opportunity? - 22nd July 15
The Three Reasons Behind Iran’s Resistance to the Nuclear Deal - 22nd July 15
Winning the Hunger Games - How to Choose Successful Agriculture Investments - 22nd July 15
Are Free Markets The Solution? - 22nd July 15
Gold Hammered “Unprecedented Attack” - 21st July 15
The Turkish Enigma - 21st July 15
Gold and Silver: The Final Capitulation Commences - 21st July 15
Greater Israel Setback from Iranian Nuclear Agreement - 21st July 15
U.S. Housing Market: Is the Roof About to Cave In (Again)? - 21st July 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stock Market Bubble in Trouble

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.


© 2005-2015 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

Biggest Debt Bomb in History