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Singapore is the Key Player to Support the ASEAN Gold Trade

Nicholas Frappell, General Manager, ABC Bullion, expects that there is huge potential for ASEAN gold market to grow. He believes that Singapore got the infrastructure to support the entire ASEAN region. Excerpts..,

What are you looking for in ASEAN market? According to your estimate, what is the potential of this market?

We have a very good relationship here with number of gold merchants, bullion banks and we send gold from Australia produced from Australian mines to Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore is a massive gold hub and that gold is then distributed to different locations.  We understand that gold is going to India and also to Thailand, Malaysia. So really for us, Singapore is a fantastic gold hub; its got the infrastructure and there are couple of large physical dealers here who are supplying this gold to other gold merchants, banks etc. and being distributed in the region.

In terms of the potential of the market, I think it is extremely high here. If we look at the ASEAN region, we must expect to see more people buy gold. If we look at countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, they are doing really well and I do believe that they will continue to do well for considerable time. So, we expect the gold market to expand.I think in Malaysia, there are gold customers who are trying to professionalize the market through their banking relationships. I think it will enable a larger retail gold market as well.

This ASEAN region is basically a physical market. Are you satisfied with the infrastructure?

Definitely for us it is a physical market. I am certainly satisfied with infrastructure of Singapore – it has the vault facility for logistic companies, it has different kinds of gold merchants and gold dealers that we need to support gold export from Australia. On the other hand, for neighbouring countries, at present infrastructure might not be strong which also underlines the reason why Singapore is the major hub.

As a refiner, are you targeting any specific country to supply your refined gold?

The way that we see as a refiner that there is opportunity covering India in South to Tokyo in Japan on the other, we find a natural selling area of our products. So, we do not necessarily favour any particular country; instead we look for demand across the region and fulfill it accordingly.

Are you thinking of making any digital product to serve small retail customers?

It is certainly a big topic at present. For our perspective, it is certainly ‘no’, probably because there are so many people in the space already and may be only few can emerge as winners. This is a specialized space; this is quite different from acquisition, refining and distribution of gold.

How did you enjoy the conference?

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.

Disclaimer: Views are personal and not the views of the publisher.