| SINGAPORE, Sept 16
SINGAPORE, Sept 16 China will launch its
international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources
said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian
bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold
contract due to technical issues.
Asia, home to the world's top two gold buyers - China and
India, has been clamouring to gain pricing power over the metal
and challenge the dominance of London and New York in trading.
The state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch the
global gold bourse in the Shanghai free-trade zone on Thursday,
two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. The SGE had
initially planned the launch for Sept. 29.
The change was made based on the availability of some
government officials to participate in the launch event, one of
the sources said, adding that all 11 physical gold contracts
will begin trading on Thursday.
The ability to bring forward the launch, which will mark the
first time foreign players will be allowed to participate
directly in China's physical gold market - the biggest in the
world, shows the country's preparedness with the exchange that
it is hoping will become the centre of Asian gold trading.
The response has been strong, with the bourse exceeding
expectations in signing up trading members, Reuters reported
Meanwhile, Singapore has delayed the launch of its gold
contract to October, two other sources said. The 25 kg contract
was set to be launched on the Singapore Exchange this
month. The delay was due to some technical issues in setting up
the trading system, the sources said.
Officials at the Singapore Exchange and SGE were not
immediately available for comment.
CME Group will launch a physically deliverable
contract in Hong Kong later this year, while Dubai is also
preparing to launch a contract. Thailand is also considering
setting up a spot gold exchange.
(Editing by Himani Sarkar)