China excluded from the global gold price or arbitrage includes it?
China is unhappy that gold prices should be driven by U. S. and dollar concerns. But many state that because there is no free flow of gold in and out of China, China will remain a parochial market, not integrated into the global gold market. Nothing is now further from the truth.
The author has worked with successful arbitrageurs in London in the past, so we can clearly see that through the London and Shanghai Gold Exchanges via bullion banks such as ICBC/Standard, HSBC and many others, arbitrage in gold is not just feasible but practiced.
Any overweight London gold stocks can easily be sent to Shanghai from, in particular the ICBC/Standard branch in London that control two warehouses capable of holding 3,500 tonnes of physical gold. With this bank being a ‘market maker’ in London and a member of the LBMA price setting body, such a trading activity would be consistent with its normal functions.
As to gold leaving China, it is not permitted, but the export of Yuan is. So a sale in Shanghai of gold receives Yuan which can be exported to buy gold in London. This is, in essence, giving arbitrageurs the ability to lower prices in Shanghai and raising them in London.
Capital Controls in China do not pose a hurdle for this business. We believe that while capital exiting China is now heavily restricted, it is not withheld for the purchase and import of gold bullion.
What this trade does do, is to smooth out price differentials between Shanghai and London. With Shanghai’s physical gold prices being more representative of physical gold demand and supply [due to volumes of gold traded] it is inevitable that Shanghai becomes the leading gold Benchmark pricer in the future.
This post was published at GoldSeek