Gold News

Gold Price Trades Up to 2016 Highs as China's ICBC Expands Bullion Banking with Barclays Vault

GOLD PRICES rose to 1-week highs in London bullion trade Monday, touching $1288 per ounce as China's stock markets held flat overall but New York equities pointed lower with UK shares as half of Europe stayed shut for the Whit Monday holiday.
 
Silver just outpaced the rise in gold prices, gaining 1.2% from the close of Friday's US trade but only to two-session highs of $17.38 per ounce.
 
Recovering 2.4% from last week's lows versus the Dollar, the gold price also rose against all other major currencies, reaching the highest level against the Euro at €1135 since March's retreat from 13-month highs.
 
Gold priced in Sterling rose above £895 per ounce, a two-and-a-half year high when first reached in February.
 
"The acquisition of a precious metals vault allows us to expand our services in clearing and processing," said ICBC Standard Bank's head of commodities Mark Buncombe on Monday, commenting on news that the bullion and raw materials division of the world's largest bank, ICBC (HKG:1398), is buying the precious metals dealing and storage business of the UK's Barclays Bank (LON:BARC).
 
A clearing member of the London Bullion Market Association since 2005, Barclays built its vault with help from the UK division of security specialists Brink's Inc (NYSE:BCO), opening it in 2012.
 
That year also saw fellow clearing and market-making member Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBK) launch a London vault, built with help from UK security firm G4S (LON:GFS). But the German financial services group put those facilities up for sale – apparently without success so far – as it quit the bullion market in 2014 following a series of compliance and regulatory scandals.
 
ICBC became an ordinary member of the LBMA in 2011, buying its Standard Bank division in 2015, before moving to a market-making member – quoting buy and sell prices throughout London hours – this April, joining the daily benchmark LBMA Gold Price process at the start of this month and announcing its move to a clearing member last week.
 
"This enables us to better execute on our strategy to become one of the largest Chinese banks in the precious metals market," said Buncombe on Monday.
 
London is the center of the world's wholesale bullion trade, with the UK importing more gold than any other countries than China, India or Switzerland and exporting almost as much over the last 5 years despite having zero mine output, large-bar refining or consumer demand.
 
Secure storage of wholesale Good Delivery gold bars in London's recognized vaults costs as little as 0.10% per year, insurance included.

Adrian Ash is director of research at BullionVault, the world-leading physical gold, silver and platinum market for private investors online. Formerly head of editorial at London's top publisher of private-investment advice, he was City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning from 2003 to 2008, and he has now been researching and writing daily analysis of precious metals and the wider financial markets for over 20 years. A frequent guest on BBC radio and television, Adrian is regularly quoted by the Financial Times, MarketWatch and many other respected news outlets, and his views from inside the bullion market have been sought by the Economist magazine, CNBC, Bloomberg, Germany's Handelsblatt and FAZ, plus Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore.

See the full archive of Adrian Ash articles on GoldNews.

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