In Singapore, you can both buy gold legally and own it, whether it’s physical gold or gold in other forms, like gold certificates, using a gold savings account, buying into a Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) or other gold-related funds, buying stocks in gold-related industries, or via trade futures, commodities, options, or forex.
The following article will explain the legality regarding the ownership of gold in Singapore, the most common ways that people invest in gold in Singapore, as well as everything else you might need to know about said metal in said region.
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Is It Legal To Own Gold Bars In Singapore?
It is indeed legal to own gold bars in Singapore. While from 1933 to 1974 it wasn’t legal to own gold bullion if you didn’t have a license, these restrictions surrounding private gold ownership ended on the 31st of December 1974.
You can purchase physical gold at the UOB Main Branch between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
If you want to buy gold bars and gold coins online instead, you can do so via UOB Personal Internet Banking.
How Much Does Gold Cost In Singapore?
Gold is a lot cheaper to buy in Singapore than in India, particularly if you’re buying it for ornamental purposes.
If you’re a tourist you can also claim a GST refund at airports, meaning the rate for gold will be a lot cheaper.
The price of gold in Singapore fluctuates, but at the time of writing, one gram of gold costs 77.50999 SGD (Singapore Dollars).
It also depends on the karat of the gold, though, which can make a big change to the price.
For example, if 100 grams of 22 karat gold costs 7,751 Singapore dollars (and it does, at the time of writing), then 100 grams of 24 karat gold will cost 8,402 Singapore dollars.
Investing In Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
One alternative to buying physical gold is investing in a Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The value of this fund is derived from the value of physical gold.
It’s useful if you’re eager to enter the gold market without actually having to own any, physically.
The most popular Gold Exchange Traded Fund is the SPDR Gold Shares ETF, which sees the highest monthly turnover value on average, compared to every other ETF listed on the Singapore Exchange (as of 2020).
Gold Exchange Traded Funds are traded on stock exchanges, which makes them highly liquid, and accessible to any investor.
SPDR Gold Shares ETF’s worth in assets is over 70 billion US dollars.
The only downsides to investing in Gold Exchange Traded Funds are that there are fees involved when you’re purchasing ETFs, and if you’re going with a lesser-known ETF, it might not be liquid, which could make it difficult for you to sell.
Investing In Gold Certificates
Another alternative to owning physical gold is investing in gold certificates.
These can be exchanged both for cash or for physical gold if you eventually change your mind.
It’s probably the closest you’ll get to owning physical gold without actually owning it- for this reason, it’s important to keep it just as safe as you’d keep actual gold.
One benefit to gold certificates is that they don’t have an expiration date, meaning at no point will you be forced to liquidate.
They do come with a fee, though; UOB charges five Singapore dollars for one certificate, and there’s also a service charge of 72 Singapore dollars per year.
Investing In A Gold Savings Account
Something unique to UOB is the gold savings account, which essentially allows you to buy and sell gold without needing to buy or sell physical gold.
Your gold holdings will be recorded in grams, and there’s a minimum quantity of five grams of gold per transaction.
There’s a monthly service charge, though, and there’s also a minimum balance of five grams of gold, which won’t be very feasible if you only plan on trading small amounts.
Investing In Gold Stocks
The final most common way that people in Singapore invest in gold is via gold stocks, which would be tied to gold-related businesses.
Just a couple of examples of businesses you can buy stocks from are Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Corporation. These stocks are highly liquid and can be traded on the stock market.
Conclusion: Is It Legal To Own Gold In Singapore?
Yes, it is legal to own gold in Singapore. If you don’t fancy owning physical gold, there are a number of alternatives, including gold stocks, gold savings accounts, gold certificates, and Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETF).
Each of these has its pros and cons, but they’re worth considering as an alternative to investing in physical gold.