by Ronan Manly, BullionStar:
Singapore’s Channel News Asia (CNA) recently published a fascinating new documentary film about Singapore’s national reserve assets, including Singapore’s famed monetary gold reserves.
The CNA documentary includes a segment featuring BullionStar’s CEO Luke Chua in BullionStar’s vault visually explaining what 1 tonne of gold looks like, to illustrate the magnitude of Singapore’s gold reserves.
TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/
The CNA documentary team also obtained access to the secret gold vault of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank, where more than half of Singapore’s official gold reserves appear to be stored. This is the first time ever that Singapore’s gold reserves have been filmed inside the MAS central bank gold vault.
Singapore’s central bank holds 225.4 tonnes of gold, making it the 24th largest sovereign gold holder in the world. Up until March 2021, MAS held 127.4 tonnes of gold, and had not bought gold for many years.
But then Singapore’s central bank went on a gold buying spree, buying 26.4 tonnes of gold bars between April and May 2021 (see here), and then adding another 71.6 tonnes of gold bars between January and May 2023. See here.
In total, that was 98 tonnes of gold added to Singapore’s gold reserves over just 2 years, which in percentage terms was a massive 77% increase compared to early 2021.
In fact, the rate of gold accumulation by Singapore’s central bank during early 2023 was so intense that MAS earned the distinction of being the world’s largest central gold buyer in Q1 2023, during which it bought 68.7 tonnes of gold.
While Singapore’s gold reserves have a market value of approximately SGD 18.8 billion, this represents less than 5% of MAS’s total reserve assets, which in total are worth about SGD 400 billion. The rest of the reserve assets of Singapore’s central bank, which consist of holdings of securities (bonds and stocks) and foreign currencies, are also, along with the 225.4 tonnes of gold, managed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
In addition, Singapore has two additional state sovereign investment funds. One is the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), a Singapore government-owned company which manages Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. The other is Temasek, a Singapore government-owned global investment company. GIC invests globally in equities, bonds and real. estate. Temasek invests in equities, but also owns entire companies across the world, and has an investment portfolio worth SGD 400 billion. Both of these national investment funds are also profiled in the CNA program.
The CNA documentary, which is titled “Singapore Reserves: The Untold Story | Singapore Reserves Revealed”, can be viewed on the CNA Insider channel on YouTube here.
The segment featuring BullionStar’s CEO in BullionStar precious metals vault, and which also features footage from the MAS gold vault, runs from approximately minutes 11:46 until 15:35. That segment can be seen here.
The MAS Secret Gold Vault in Singapore
Near the beginning of the CNA documentary, the narrator states that Singapore’s central bank (MAS) granted the CNA team exclusive access to the MAS secret gold vault, on condition that CNA signed an undertaking to keep the location of the vault secret. This narration is accompanied by a shot of a one page document titled ‘Undertaking to Safeguard Official Information’ which invokes Singapore’s Official Secrets Act, and which the CNA documentary producer and crew had to sign as an undertaking with MAS not to reveal the location of the vault to anyone.
CNA also says that its crew (which consisted of a cameraman and a producer) chose to be blindfolded and were driven in a ‘super secretive trip’ to a secret location in Singapore where the vault is located. This is very reminiscent of another filmed visit to a gold vault in 2011, when CNBC’s Bob Pisani and his crew were supposedly blindfolded (maybe for dramatic effect) and driven to an undisclosed location in London to visit the HSBC gold vault which stores the gold bars of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD).
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