[SINGAPORE] Gold has long been the darling of Asian investors. But its lesser cousin silver may now be coming into its own as an investment asset.
Demand for physical silver has rocketed in the past few months, propelled by repeated "quantitative easing" (QE) in the US, the waiver of goods and services tax (GST) on precious metals here last October, and the belief that it is undervalued relative to gold.
Silver Bullion, one of the oldest physical silver dealers in Singapore, said its sales have tripled since last October to about $6 million a month. The firm launched trading through a website in April 2009 and has seen revenue grow from $7.6 million in 2010 to $31.5 million last year.
Another dealer, GoldSilver Central, said it has seen more demand for silver than gold - surprising even the founding partners themselves. About 60 per cent of GoldSilver's sales is from silver. "Initially, when we first started (last March), a lot of my partners were sceptical; we had only one or two believers in silver. Most of them were actually gold buffs," said MD Brian Lan. "They were quite surprised that silver did well, and that there were a lot of people looking for silver as an investment tool."