Bank of China

Got a spare HK$370,000? BOCHK mints commemorative gold bars to celebrate its 100th anniversary

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 8:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 11:09pm

Bank of China Hong Kong will offer its high net worth customers a chance to purchase a 1 kilogram gold bar in celebration of its 100th anniversary this year, according to a senior bank executive.

At current prices the gold bar has a retail value of HK$370,000 (US$47,356), reflecting a 15 per cent rise in the yellow metal this year. Gold, which now trades at about US$1,326 per ounce, has enjoyed a boost thanks in part to rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which has helped put the shine on the precious metals’ role as a safe haven.

“We will only issued a limited number of 100 pieces of this commemorative gold bar which has the iconic imagine of the Bank of China Tower to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bank of China Hong Kong,” said Winnie Cheung Wing-sze, assistant general manager and head of treasury product division at the bank.

The gold bars are expected to be available from October following delivery by Swiss gold firm PAMP.

Cheung said the 1kg gold bar will be reserved for the bank’s high net worth clients, but other clients could purchase smaller versions.

These include a 100g bar at a cost of about HK$37,000, while a 10g specimen is expected to sell for about HK$3,700. The bank has limited the supply of 100g bars to 10,000, and 10g bars are limited at 20,000.

While many shoppers buy gold at jewellery shops, some traditional banks such as BOCHK and Hang Seng Bank still offer physical gold and coins for sale.

Cheung said BOCHK has no plans to abandon its physical gold trading services.

“There are still a lot of customers who like to buy gold bars and coins as collective items or as wedding gifts,” Cheung said. “We still have 38 bank branches where our customers can buy and sell gold.”

BOCHK also offers electronic gold trading services for customers who settle in cash.

Of the bank’s gold trade, about 15 per cent is physical, while 85 per cent is through electronic trade and settlement.

In 2017, gold turnover at the bank has slipped 15 per cent on year, in spite of rising bullion prices. Cheung said many investors were taking a wait-and-see approach on whether political tensions related to North Korea’s nuclear programme continue to escalate.