Ladies & Gentleman,
I would like to thank you for your precious time attending BullionStars opening ceremony.
We are honored here today by the presence of our Guest of Honor, Ms. Karin Öhman, chargé d’affaires of Sweden to Singapore.
A special thanks to the Singaporean government and IE Singapore for your presence here today and moreover for facilitating for the bullion industry in Singapore.
I found out about Singapore’s bid to create a trading hub for precious metals in the spring of 2012 after Singapore’s finance minister, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, had announced the GST exemption for investment precious metals coming into effect 1 October 2012.
With the Asian demand for gold currently standing at 60 % of total global demand, and growing quickly, Singapore´s drive to create a hub for precious metals is well timed.
On my first research trip to Singapore in July 2012, I received the contact information to IE Singapore from a supplier of ours. I sent an initial email to them late night and got a reply in less than 5 minutes stating that that we were welcome to their office the next morning to discuss opportunities.
I was already aware that Singapore consistently rank top 3 in the world for business friendliness prior to my first trip here. The meeting with Kenneth and his colleague from IE Singapore however made a strong impression on us. Not only did they make it clear that we were welcome to set up our proposed business here, they went even further in suggesting different ideas and connecting us to various suppliers and facilitators. Thus, Kenneth and IE Singapore; you are much of the reason we are here and we are proud to be part of the developing precious metals market in Singapore.
Also a special thanks also to our contractor Will Fu and his team at Renomarket. Thank you for assisting us in setting up this unique bullion retail trade center. Many long nights later, we are here today to celebrate together. Your patience with us troublesome foreigners setting up this shop has been impressive.
This outlet is a unique one stop shop for bullion. Nowhere else in the world can customers view, deposit, buy, sell, value, audit and physically withdraw their precious metals at a one-stop shop like they can here.
BullionStar was setup in July 2012 and became operational just 18 months ago in January 2013. With domestic demand amounting to as high as 95 % of our sales, it’s obvious that there was a large pent up demand for bullion in Singapore when the GST exemption came into place.
Singapore is however well positioned for international investors and savers to geographically diversify their bullion holdings by keeping some in the country. Singapore is secure with a strong rule of law, it is politically stable and protects property ownership rights strongly.
With My Vault Storage®, our online vault storage solution, we offer domestic and international investors the opportunity to trade physical precious metals online 24/7. The flow is very transparent as investors can view, buy, sell or request physical withdrawal 24/7 online with user friendliness being at the core of our offer.
Combining the online user friendliness with this shop, we can offer customers a turnkey solution where they are in control of their holdings at all times.
I can share with you that we have an ambitious development program for the future to be able to grow together with many of the suppliers and stakeholders present here today.
Again, thank you all for coming and let me know please hand over the word to our Guest of Honor, the Swedish chargé d’affaires to Singapore, Ms. Karin Öhman.