Chinese bank buys London gold vault


Pedestrians walk by an ICBC branchImage copyright

Image caption

ICBC Standard Bank was formed after the Chinese bought a majority stake in the markets operation of Standard Bank in 2015

China’s ICBC, the world’s biggest bank by assets, is buying a massive vault in London as it looks to grow its gold and precious metals business.

It will be the first Chinese lender to own a vault in London.

The vault, which is in a secret location, is being sold by Barclays and can hold up to 2,000 metric tons of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

ICBC’s purchase will give it more influence over the trading, pricing and storage of precious metals.

No financial details are available but the deal is expected to be completed in July.

China accounts for more than a quarter of global gold demand but trading of the yellow metal remains centred out of London and New York.

The London bullion market has seven providers of vault storage services, including the Bank of England.

May 17, 2016 |

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