India launches first international bullion exchange
India, the world’s second largest consumer of the precious metal, launched its first international bullion exchange on Friday, which aims to bring transparency to the precious metal market.
The India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX), located at Gujarat International Finance Tec City, or GIFT City in the western state of Gujarat, can set standard gold prices in India and facilitate trading for small bullion dealers and jewelers.
Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “With the launch of this bullion exchange, we will have better pricing bargaining power.
Gold in India is strictly regulated and currently only designated banks and central bank approved agencies can import gold and sell it to dealers and jewelers.
“IIBX, with its technology-based solution, will facilitate the evolution of the Indian bullion market to a more structured structure by providing qualified jewelers with direct access to import gold directly through the exchange mechanism,” said exchange in a press release.
China, the largest consumer of gold, operates a market where locally produced and imported gold is bought and sold.
India imported 1,069 tons of gold in 2021, compared to 430 tons a year ago.
The Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) offered gold futures contracts in India, but there was no physical exchange to buy gold.
“India’s efforts to monetize gold will also be greatly aided by a transparent bullion trading system at GIFT City,” said Somasundaram PR, Regional Managing Director, India Operations, WGC.
Indian households together hold about 25,000 tons of gold, which has been passed down from generation to generation. New Delhi is trying to monetize these assets to reduce imports.