Individual investors were allowed to buy and sell Au99.95-category gold as of Friday at the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), the Shanghai Securities News reported.
In a notice issued on Thursday, the SGE said from Friday it would allow individual traders to buy and sell Au99.95, the type of gold used in the manufacturing of ornamental items. It also said Chinese commercial banks were free to decide the date to start individual gold investment services.
The minimum trading lot size was one kilogram Au99.95 and the minimum delivery weight was three kilograms.
Currently, the exchange offered traders with both spot transactions and T+D model transactions of various gold products. The T+D model allows investors to bid first but delay the spot transaction of real gold.
Au99.95 is the main category traded by investors at the SGE. Last month, trading volume of Au99.95 at the exchange stood at 11.6 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion), according to the report.
Other gold products offered by the exchange included Au99.99, Au 100g and Au 50g. In addition, the SGE also offered spot trading of platinum and silver.
Wang Ruilei, a Shanghai-based analyst, considered the SGE's decision as a breakthrough since it was the first time the exchange allowed individual investors to participate in the spot transaction of real gold.
SGE, the country's first such exchange which was set up in October of 2001, began free trade in gold one year later but it served only institutional investors.
"It is likely to pave the way for the exchange to open the T+D gold transactions to individual investors," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2008)