By Nick Ferguson
Finance Asia, Hong Kong
Monday, October 17, 2011
Hong Kong's Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society officially starts trading gold denominated in renminbi today, in a bid to attract the HK$600 billion of Chinese currency sitting on deposit in the city’s banks.
Haywood Cheung, president of the 101-year-old bullion exchange, said the so-called Renminbi Kilobar Gold contracts could boost trading volumes by up to 30%, or HK$40 billion a day, during the next six months. Growth has already been strong this year, with average daily electronic transactions reaching HK$136 billion after a full-year average of just HK$31 billion in 2010.
"By attracting both local and international investors, the Renminbi Kilobar Gold is a significant step towards internationalising the renminbi," said Cheung. "It also consolidates Hong Kong's position as an offshore renminbi centre by providing investors with a new alternative in leveraged trading of renminbi."
Investors who choose to convert their renminbi bank deposits into the new gold contracts can gear up their exposure to the currency by as much as 25 times. During a visit to the exchange on Friday, Cheung told FinanceAsia that this ability to use leverage will prove attractive to investors, who until now have lacked opportunities to put their renminbi to work.
It also helps that gold and renminbi are both headline-grabbing
investment trends. Cheung reckons they still offer value, arguing that
gold is just half-way through a 10 to 15-year bull cycle and that
renminbi will appreciate by 5% to 6% a year before it becomes freely
convertible. That is an appealing proposition compared to moribund
returns on bank deposits......read in full