VTB has become the first bank in Russia to start a direct supply of physical gold to China.

This is part of the bank’s plans to become a leading supplier in the market, expanding its precious metals portfolio and increasing the number of partners. VTB has already been supplying gold and silver to India and a trading relation with China, the world’s largest buyer and consumer of gold, is strategically important to this goal.

“We believe that the Chinese market opens up long-term opportunities for Russian business and VTB will contribute as much as possible to developing and facilitating trade relations between our countries,” explains Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president and chairman of the VTB bank management board.

The first delivery amounted to one tonne of gold bars. VTB tells GTR their projected volumes are 80-100 tonnes per year, but cannot disclose the pricing.

VTB obtained Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) membership in October 2015, allowing it to trade on the exchange’s international board in the Shanghai free-trade zone.