The Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange (HKMEx), China’s international commodity marketplace, in a recent press release announced it has completed its first physical contract delivery since its launch in May.
According to the release, the contract being delivered, a US-dollar gold futures contract which matured on Aug 8, 2011, was purchased by HKMEx member and shareholder ICBC, from fellow Exchange member Wing Fung Futures Limited. Actual physical delivery took place at the Hong Kong International Airport Precious Metals Depository.
“We are very pleased to see that the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange has completed its first physical gold delivery. This marks an important new beginning for Hong Kong's commodities futures trading business," said Chen Aiping, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of ICBC (Asia)."
Wing Fung Futures Ltd Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Fong said, “We are happy to be participating in such a historic occasion and to witness the first physical delivery of a futures contract on HKMEx."
Barry Cheung, Chairman of HKMEx, said: "Physical settlement for commodities is important as it ensures convergence of futures and cash markets. Today’s delivery not only highlights our physical delivery advantage, it also paves the way for the introduction of more physically delivered HKMEx futures products."
Strategically located in Hong Kong, HKMEx provides standardised commercial commodity contracts for trading in the Asia Pacific time zone, in a transparent, liquid and cleared environment. The Exchange’s products include a 32 troy ounces gold futures contract, and a 1,000 troy ounces silver futures contract. Both are denominated in US dollars with physical delivery in Hong Kong. Trading hours last from 8am to 11pm Hong Kong time, overlapping those in major commodity markets in Tokyo, London, and New York.
The HKMEx has stated, silver contracts will be denominated in dollars and trade in lots of 1,000 troy ounces and be delivered in Hong Kong.
"The new contract will enable buyers and sellers in China to trade effectively with their counterparts across the world, while at the same time, allowing investors to gain exposure to silver price movements and broaden their investment portfolio," said HKMEx president Albert Helmig in the statement.
The HKMEx is planning to also launch yuan-priced gold and silver futures to further capitalise on growing investor demand for China's strengthening currency, with further ambition for products in base metals, energy and agriculture, Helmig told Reuters earlier this month. According to a report in Reuters, spot silver traded at $39.89 an ounce by 0707 GMT, down 19 percent from a record of $49.51 hit on April 28. The metal, notorious for price volatility, surged 60 percent earlier this year to the peak before dropping 33 percent over six sessions in early May.
A gold futures contract was started in May this year so a silver contract is the next logical step said one analyst.