Wednesday, July 3, 2013

UBS Starts Gold-Vault Service in Singapore

Switzerland’s biggest bank, started storing gold for wealth-management clients at a facility in Singapore, citing interest from investors in the region even after the metal slumped into a bear market.
UBS joins Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in offering storage services in Asia, where China may surpass India as the largest user this year. Bullion fell to a 34-month low on June 28 in a rout that’s erased $66 billion from the value of investor holdings. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts further declines as the U.S. Federal Reserve may withdraw stimulus.

“Notwithstanding the drop in gold prices, we are still receiving queries on the offering from clients who are keen to reap the benefits of asset and geographical diversification,” Kok said in an e-mailed reply to questions.

The Singapore government has been promoting the country as a bullion-trading hub, removing a 7 percent sales tax from investment-grade precious metals last year. Millionaires in Asia outside Japan will create $7 trillion in new wealth by 2016, boosting the share of global riches from emerging markets to about 37 percent by that year from 24 percent at the end of 2008, according to McKinsey & Co.

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