Chinese Silver Trading Powerhouse Eyes Expansion in Singapore

Chinese Silver Trading Powerhouse Eyes Expansion in Singapore

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(Bloomberg) — The commercial division of Chinese private smelter Henan Jinli Gold and Lead Group Co. is looking to expand its commodities trading team in Singapore, as the industry turns increasingly bullish on copper, aluminum and other metals. 

The division, which handled about half of China’s silver exports last year, is aiming to hire more physical and derivative traders for industrial and precious metals, said Eric Hu, general manager of the trading arm, in an interview in Singapore on Friday.

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The company hopes to grow its trading team in Singapore from the current four to 15 to 20, said Hu, a two-decade silver market veteran who currently leads a group of more than 100 metals traders and other staff across Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“I know it is not easy and will take a long time as competition for talent is getting intensive,” he said. 

Metals markets are being transformed by increasing demand from renewable energy installations, artificial intelligence and supply shortfalls. That’s encouraging some of the world’s biggest energy traders to get more involved in metals, a sector that’s been dominated by behemoths Glencore Plc and Trafigura Group.

Jin Li Industrial International Pte.,the Chinese company’s Singapore subsidiary that officially started operations last October, has hired Noel Ruan from Mercuria Energy Group and Bruce Wang from Citigroup Inc. in the past six months, Hu said. Both confirmed their own moves. 

The company’s Hong Kong trading subsidiary sold about 2,000 tons of silver ingots from different smelters in China to overseas clients in 2023, including top bullion banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Hu said. China exported 4,113 tons of silver last year, official customs data shows.

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