World Gold Council and ICBC Enter Into Strategic Partnership to Promote China's Gold Market

BEIJING, April 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- World Gold Council ("WGC") and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ("ICBC") have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic cooperation within China's gold market. This agreement will enhance the exchange of market information between WGC and ICBC to promote domestic demand for gold, encourage investment into China's gold market, as well as jointly develop and market new gold investment products within the country.

Under the terms of the MOU, WGC and ICBC will share their resources and international gold market data to provide personnel training, research, and product development, as well as trade analysis. ICBC will also offer integrated services in gold investment and trading through its investment channels and client resources.

Both parties will explore and jointly develop new gold investment products tailored to the Chinese market, and conduct surveys and studies on the domestic retail gold investment market, facilitating financial innovation and product diversity. In addition, WGC and ICBC Precious Metals Business Department(s) will set up an ICBC/WGC Gold Business Strategy Board to discuss and plan strategies for their cooperation, as well as an Action Team to oversee the implementation of the decisions and initiatives adopted by the Strategic Group.

Aram Shishmanian, CEO of World Gold Council, commented at the MOU signing ceremony in Beijing:

"WGC will continue to develop strategic partnerships in China, in order to provide a stable and sustainable service to Chinese gold investors, and therefore help them achieve wealth preservation."

ICBC is the largest commercial bank in China and also the largest bank by market value and the most profitable commercial bank in the world. By the end of 2009, ICBC had 16,224 offices both in China and abroad, offering a wide range of quality financial products and services to 212 million individual customers and 3.63 million corporate clients around the world. WGC is the gold industry's key market development body and, as such, works with multiple partners and to promote the use of gold in all its forms. As a leading country in gold production and gold consumption, China is one of the most important strategic markets for WGC. The alliance between two major players, WGC and ICBC, will not only enable ICBC to better integrate in the domestic and foreign precious metals market but also stimulate the development of the gold market in China.

World Gold Council

World Gold Council's mission is to stimulate and sustain the demand for gold and to create enduring value for its stakeholders. It is funded by the world's leading gold mining companies. For further information, visit http://www.gold.org.

Precious Metals Business Department of ICBC

The Precious Metals Business Department of ICBC, China's first specialized institution operating precious metals, was established in Shanghai on September 9, 2009 to cater to the need of development of precious metals market in China. Its purpose is to enable ICBC to more effectively integrate in the domestic and foreign precious metals markets, accelerate financial innovation and enhance the bank's capacity to develop internationally and in a comprehensive manner.

For further Information, please contact:

Clare Allison, Capital MS&L, + 44(0)207-307-5342, or clare.allison@capitalmsl.com

SOURCE World Gold Council



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