Australia’s ANZ financial institution closes Singapore gold vault

LONDON (Reuters) – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), whose gold bullion enterprise is considered one of Asia’s largest, mentioned on Thursday it was closing its treasured metals vault in Singapore.

FILE PHOTO: An ANZ financial institution brand is pictured in Sydney, Australia April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photograph

The transfer follows the financial institution’s sale final 12 months of its stake in an exchange-traded fund backed by bodily gold and sources say it’s a part of a scaling again of ANZ’s treasured metals enterprise.

The financial institution opened the vault – which may maintain 50 tonnes of gold value round $2 billion at present costs – in 2013. That 12 months, ANZ mentioned it distributed shut to fifteen p.c of the world’s major gold manufacturing.

“ANZ has suspended its bodily treasured metals custody service because it doesn’t align to our enterprise technique at the moment,” a spokesman for the financial institution advised Reuters.

“It is a very small change in our treasured metals and commodities enterprise, which stays extra broadly an necessary a part of the ANZ Markets enterprise,” the spokesman mentioned.

Business sources say treasured metals account for the majority of revenues at ANZ’s commodities division estimated at $50-80 million a 12 months.

The custody enterprise closure is a part of a broader restructuring and consolidation of ANZ’s treasured metals and commodities enterprise, sources accustomed to the matter mentioned.

ANZ didn’t remark additional on the restructuring.

Whereas ANZ is trimming, growing regulation and decrease income have seen banks together with Scotiabank Barclays, Deutsche Financial institution and Commerzbank reduce or exit treasured metals lately.

ANZ is Australia’s third largest lender and grew its treasured metals arm quickly within the 2000s and 2010s, specializing in exporting gold mined in Australia into India and China, the world’s greatest gold shoppers.

That development was helped by an settlement with the Perth Mint, a serious gold refinery, which allowed ANZ to promote the mint’s bullion abroad. That deal resulted in 2016 after it was not renewed, sources mentioned.

ANZ discovered itself on the middle of considered one of Australia’s greatest circumstances of alleged white-collar crime following a cartel conduct investigation by the nation’s competitors watchdog over a $2.3 billion inventory difficulty.

Reporting by Peter Hobson; Enhancing by Veronica Brown and Alexandra Hudson

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