Silver Vault for 200 Tons Starts in Singapore as Wealthy Buy

SINGAPORE (July 29) A silver vault that can hold 200 metric tons opens in Singapore this week to cater for increasing demand for physical precious metals among Asia’s wealthy even as the commodity leads declines this year.

The new facility is 30 percent booked at the opening, said Joshua Rotbart, precious-metals general manager at owner Malca-Amit Global Ltd. The storage will add to the firm’s existing five vaults at the Singapore FreePort, which are fully reserved for gold, he said in an interview. Gold is about 66 times more expensive than silver.

 

Silver Vault for 200 Tons Starts in Singapore as Wealthy Buy

While silver has lost 33 percent in 2013 on concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will taper stimulus, holdings in exchange-traded products have held steady.

While silver has lost 33 percent in 2013 on concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will taper stimulus, holdings in exchange-traded products have held steady. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

While silver has lost 34 percent in 2013 on concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will taper stimulus, holdings in exchange-traded products have held steady. The number of high-net-worth individuals in the Asia-Pacific region expanded 9.4 percent last year, according to Cap Gemini SA and Royal Bank of Canada. Deutsche Bank AG, UBS (UBSN) AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are among banks operating metals storage in Singapore.

“Our existing vaults at the FreePort are highly secured and the rate is too expensive to store silver there,” said Rotbart, who declined to say where the new facility is sited. “We need to find a solution, and we also see a strong demand.”

Silver is the biggest loser on the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials this year, beating declines in corn, gold and nickel. Futures, which dropped to $18.17 an ounce in June, the lowest since August 2010, traded at $19.88 today. Gold has slumped 21 percent to $1,329.20 an ounce.