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J.P. Morgan opens precious metals vaulting facility in Asia

Singapore, 22 September 2010

J.P. Morgan announced today the official launch of its first Asia precious metals vaulting facility.  The facility, located in the Freeport area of Singapore, will provide gold and precious metal storage capabilities for corporate, institutional and retail clients in Asia-Pacific.

The operation of the facility leverages J.P. Morgan’s precious metal trading and vaulting capabilities headquartered in London, where the firm runs one of the largest commercial vaults outside of the Official Banking Sector.

The facility will also accommodate the trading of physically settled futures contracts on regional exchanges, regional ETF (exchange traded funds) allocations, as well as physically settled financing transactions in which J.P. Morgan is involved.

“This is a significant step for us to have a direct exposure to the physical gold market in Asia,” said Tim Wilson, Head of Asia Marketing of Global Commodities. “We’ve seen increasing appetite from investors and clients to diversify the location of their gold holdings and our vault facility provides an alternative site to places such as London, New York and Zurich.”

Peter Smith, Head of Precious Metals Vaulting Services in London, said: “Setting a vault in a regional hub such as Singapore, which has the advantage of tax efficiency, security and infrastructure, will reduce shipping costs and enhance trade. Our trading counterparties will also benefit from a facility of this nature," he added.

The Singapore Mercantile Exchange has recently announced the launch of a basket of commodity products that includes Singapore’s first gold futures contract that will be physically settled. This gold contract will be delivered at the J.P. Morgan vault facility in the Freeport area, Singapore’s first round-the-clock free trade zone.

Last week, J.P. Morgan also launched a gold vault in the Financial District of New York City.

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