China, set to overtake India this year as the world's top gold consumer, will start gold swaps trading on the interbank market next week, giving more hedging tools for banks dealing in bullion.
The Shanghai-based China Foreign Exchange Trade System will start gold swaps trading on November 25th, with the Shanghai Gold Exchange responsible for related settlement and delivery, the National Interbank Funding Center said in a statement on Friday.
The start of gold swaps trading comes as China is taking steps to open up its gold market and increase financial investments.
The Shanghai Futures Exchange launched simulated trading for gold and copper options on Tuesday. The central bank said in September it plans to raise the number of firms allowed to import and export gold and also ease restrictions on individual buyers of the precious metal.
Chinese gold purchases will top 1,000 tonnes in 2013 due to a surge in demand for gold jewellery, bars and coins, according to World Gold Council forecasts.
The amount is well ahead of India, bullion imports have fallen due to government restrictions aimed at supporting the currency and reducing a current account deficit.