It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Deep in the 7.4-acre Singapore FreePort next to Changi International Airport’s runways is the bullion vault of Swiss Precious Metals, behind seven-metric-ton steel doors built to survive a plane crash or earthquake.
The rooms are almost full after demand rose fivefold in the year since the Geneva-based company opened the facility. The firm plans an extension, and relocated Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois Pages to Singapore last month to cope with the surge of investors willing to pay as much as 1 percent of the value of their holdings each year to keep them secure.
“The European debt crisis and its impact on the solvency of European financial players are driving European customers to find refuge in tangible values like physical gold and other precious metals,” Pages said. Demand “is totally compatible with the current financial and political global turmoil.”
Yep, the banks! Who "declined to comment."
Swiss Precious Metals, whose Singapore vault will be 80 percent full by December, charges as much as 1 percent of the market value of gold and silver stored, depending on the quantity, Pages said. The charge covers storage, insurance and related documentation, he said. The company has already arranged for more space for expansion.
If insurance costs rise by more than 50 percent, then the firm may ask for higher fees, according to Pages, who predicts gold may reach $2,500 by the end of the year. Swiss Precious Metals is owned by Geneva-based Palaedino Group SA and Euroasia Investment SA. Euroasia Investment is an investor in the Singapore FreePort through affiliates, according to Pages.
Lloyd’s of London, which offers so-called specie insurance, declined to provide information on rates or demand. Brink’s declined to elaborate on storage and insurance costs. JPMorgan, which also rents space at the Singapore FreePort for its gold vault, declined to comment.
Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and now an economics professor at Harvard University, said the biggest risk to the eurozone at present is a run on southern European banks, Handelsblatt reported today.
In an interview with the newspaper, Rogoff said people may move their deposits to banks in safer countries such as Germany. A sovereign debt restructuring in some euro area states shouldn’t be “a taboo,” Handelsblatt cited Rogoff as saying.