Barclays to Open London Precious Metals Vault
Barclays Capital will open a precious metals vault in London next year as demand for assets boosted investors’ holdings and pushed prices to a record.
The facility may be operational by next summer, the bank confirmed in a statement. It’s joining The Brink’s Co., which opened a vault in London earlier this year and is considering building another facility.
Gold is set for an 11th straight annual gain, the longest winning streak since at least 1920, as investors have shunned equities and some currencies amid concern about slowing economic growth and debt crises. Investors own 2,145.2 metric tons of the metal in exchange-traded products, more than all but four central banks, who are expanding reserves for the first time in a generation. Silver prices more than tripled since 2008.
Barclays is building the vault “in response to client demand,” it said. “This is part of our long-term commitment to the bullion market.”
Gold for immediate delivery reached a record $1,921.15 an ounce on Sept. 6 and traded at $1,768.13 by 6:31 a.m. in London, set for a 24 percent gain this year. Silver was at $39.47 an ounce. It reached a record $49.79 on April 25. Both metals outperformed global equities, commodities and Treasuries this year, sending the value of precious metals held in ETPs to $144 billion.
U.K. gold vaults are traditionally located within the area bounded by the M25 road that orbits London, the London Bullion Market Association website shows. The gold stored in such vaults is typically to the LBMA’s so-called good delivery standard, where bars are of 99.5 percent fineness and include serial number, refiner assay and manufacture year marks.
Brink’s’ above-ground vault that it opened this year took almost two years to build, according to the LBMA, which visited the vault in April.
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