Precious metals storage and transport company Malca-Amit Global Ltd. opened a silver storage vault with a capacity of 200 tonnes in Singapore this week, but 30% of the capacity is already leased out. The vault, in an undisclosed location, joins Malca-Amit’s five gold vaults already in service in Singapore’s FreePort, which are already at capacity. The company is looking to build more gold vaults in Singapore as well as a silver vault in Hong Kong, as not only Asian investors, but increasingly European investors move their gold holdings to Asia.
The construction of the silver vault is an indication of how Asian investors are giving more attention to the white metal, in an area of the world where gold has long reigned supreme as the precious metal of choice. Indians in particular are increasing silver purchases as their government chokes off gold imports in an attempt to stem a runaway trade deficit.
The government of Singapore has encouraged specialty storage firms like Malca-Amit, as well as major banks such as JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank to construct vaults in the tiny nation. The government hopes to grow into a regional precious metals trading hub, with a target of handling 15% of global gold gold demand, compared to 2% now. The Shanghai Gold Exchange handles the lion’s share of the gold trade into mainland China.
Malca-Amit, which also handles the storage and transport of diamonds and art treasures, is looking to expand silver and gold storage capacity in their Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Shanghai.