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Dubai Precious Metals Conference Examines Key Themes Shaping the Global Industry Amid Rising Uncertainty

April 09 2017

DMCC, the authority on trade, enterprise and commodities in Dubai today inaugurated the sixth annual edition of the Dubai Precious Metals Conference (DPMC). The two-day event is taking place between 9th-10th April at the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, attracting around over 400 delegates across the value chain including miners, investors, engineers, asset managers and professional services representatives.

Opening statements delivered by Atiq Nassib, Senior Vice President, Commercial Services, Dubai Chamber, Gautam Sashittal, CEO, DMCC, and Najeeb Al Ali, Executive Director, Dubai Expo2020, focused on the prominence of Dubai as a trade hub linking traditional markets in the West with rising economies like China, India, the wider Middle East and Turkey.

Held under the theme of ‘Connecting Markets - the New Era of Global Trade’, the event explores the industry’s most pertinent topics with discussions focusing on how shifting geopolitics will impact the trade flows of precious metals. The panels and workshops taking place over the two days looks at various topics including the importance of branding in the global precious metals industry, application of the global Shariah standard in gold, implications of taxation for gold in global hubs, and the dawn of a new era in the global bullion industry.

Commenting at the conference, DMCC’s Executive Chairman, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “The continued success of the DPMC is testament to Dubai’s position as a key market maker for the gold and precious metals sector. Driving our Emirate’s ambitions to positing itself as the global gateway for commodities trade, we continue to leverage our expertise and strategic location between the East and West, North and South to deliver a world-class environment for trade. Looking at the broader industry, it remains now more than ever, a collective responsibility to enhance transparency and efficiency while leveraging technological innovations like Blockchain. With many unprecedented events shaping the global landscape, DPMC provides a great opportunity to exchange knowledge amongst industry stakeholders to ensure a strong future of trade.”

The opening day saw the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), the largest and most diversified derivatives exchange in the Middle East, officially launch its DGCX Shanghai Gold Futures Contract (DSGC) with the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE). For the first time, global and regional investors will have the opportunity to trade and clear Yuan denominated gold contracts outside of China.

The introduction of DGCX Shanghai Gold Futures (DSGC) opens up a vital trading link, enabling global access to the world’s largest markets for physical gold. Connecting global investors to the largest bullion market with over 10 million institutional customers, 8.3 million individual customers and 55 certified gold vaults, the listing of DSGC will boost the precious metals trade between China and the UAE and further the economic development and cooperation between the two countries.

The first day also included a discussion about the future for precious metals, including master classes on technology innovation. Speaking about the application of Blockchain technology in the industry, Sharon Henley, Head of Marketing at The Royal Mint said: “While thinking about how The Royal Mint establishes itself for the future, we realised that Blockchain currencies and gold had a lot in common, and where they had differences they seemed to compensate for one another. This was the motivation behind RMG®, an innovative new product launching in 2017 that will provide the investment performance of the London Gold Market with the price transparency, real-time price discovery and trade execution of a traded security. We believe these features, coupled with the guarantee of zero ongoing annual management fees and free storage, represents one of the best and cost-effective ways to invest in physical gold today."

The first day’s discussions highlighted the need for stakeholders across the value chain to consider how these issues impact them and their businesses, while ensuring they are operating within a solid financial and physical infrastructure that allows them to trade in confidence.

Conference delegates and speakers were also gearing up for one of the second day’s panels on Precious Metals Statistics & Price Outlook. Ross Norman, CEO of Sharps Pixley, said: “Prospects for inflation are rising all the time. Gold doesn’t work lock-step with the inflation rate when it goes from 0.5% to 1%, but when it gets to 3% you get a step change. We are not there yet, but we are getting close to it, and that’s when you see the multiplier effect.”

Philip Newman, Director at Metals Focus said the fragile US recovery and high debt levels would likely curb the Federal Reserve’s ability to significantly raise rates to stifle inflation for fear of triggering a recession.

Geopolitical uncertainty was also a hot topic. Jeff Rhodes, CEO of Dubai-based Zee Gold said: “I have seen nothing so far from the Trump presidency that says we are going to have any kind of stability any time soon.”

In India, there is some uncertainty due to its incoming Goods and Services Tax (GST). But Dubai-based bullion trader Harish Pawani said the first quarter in India had been stronger than the same period a year ago. “Markedly better,” he added.

Gautam Sashittal, DMCC’s CEO concluded: “Irrespective of fluctuating markets at present, Dubai provides traders, producers and other members of the value chain an all-inclusive environment which has seen the commodity’s trade value through the Emirate grow by an average of $60 billion between 2011 and 2015. Reflective of our efforts to add value to all market participants, we are proud that DGCX will offer investors the first Yuan denominated gold futures outside China in addition to being the first to give international financial markets access to the "Shanghai Gold Benchmark Price”. Looking ahead, we are determined to continue positioning Dubai and DMCC as the global hub for responsible trade in gold and precious metals.”

For more details on the event and to view the conference agenda, please visit: www.dpmc.ae.