May 2012 Newsletter - Secure Notifications, Discount Tiers and More

Posted by Admin on 11 May 2012


Silver Bullion Pte Ltd

Dear Subscriber,

The Silver Bullion team receives feedback regarding overall user experience, almost on a daily basis, from our esteemed customers. At Silver Bullion, we strive to keep improving our services, and rest assured that we take each feedback seriously. We would like to thank those who have given suggestions on how we can improve the overall user experience.

This rather large newsletter introduces new and stronger, customer privacy protection and archiving features as well as additions to the S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement, all of which we have worked on after listening to our clients.

You might also be glad to hear that all your past orders now count towards your discount tiers without time validity limitations. In addition the Inspectorate certified vault inspection report is now available for download.

 
Article - The "5 Minutes to Midnight" Metaphor

Early May has seen a strong shift to the left in French politics as the upcoming Government has promised increased social spending and sharply increased taxes, up to 75%. Many budget and spending restraints agreed by the former French government will also likely be discarded.

In Greece, voters have clearly voted against the EU bailouts and, ultimately, against the associated spending restraints. The coming default has been long expected but will likely require more bank bailouts. If Greece is the only problem such bailouts might be a partial solution but a realistic look at most European countries, once pension and healthcare promises are included (which are not reported as government debt), will show that a Greece default will likely not be an isolated case.

The fiscal fragility of western governments is the result of many decades of continuously increasing deficit spending and even larger, unfunded, future promises. The stark difference between citizen’s expectations (pensions, healthcare, welfare) and the fiscal realities after 40 years of overspending means that the West will experience a long and painful adjustment process.

In Spain the unemployment rate is around 25% and over 50% among young people and in Italy the government is limiting cash withdrawals from bank accounts. Even Germany is paying only partial pensions to pensioners who have other sources of income.

The United States, on the other hand, shows no signs of spending restraints with yearly trillion dollar deficits financed through new currency creation and by, ever more nervous, international lenders. At the Marina Bay Sands Expo last month we presented and discussed several graphical representations of the absurd yearly budget deficits of the US federal government. One of the most telling facts is that, at current rates, all reported US gold reserves (~218 million ounces valued around ~350 billion USD) can only cover 3 months of the country's deficit.

I brought these thoughts up with a board member of one of Germany’s largest banks when I was still working on banking software systems. His frank reply was “this will continue until 5 minutes to midnight” which mirrors my experiences and assessment. In other words the western political interests are so dependent on votes from groups that benefit from governmental funds and the debt problems are so large that it is political suicide to address these issues directly. So we can only expect more of the same until it becomes close to impossible to continue which is, metaphorically speaking, midnight.

No one knows when that "midnight" will come, but until then you would be well served to own real assets directly.


Gregor J. Gregersen,
Founder, Silver Bullion Pte Ltd
 
Discount Tier Policy Change - No boz Expiration on Past Orders
Repeat customers have their past orders added to their current order to determine their discount tier. Traditionally only orders within the last 2 years from the date of the new order are counted to determined your discount Tier.

Based on customer feedback and to simplify the tier system we have removed, starting May 1st, this expiration policy completely. Thus all past order boz counts will be added to your current order regardless of how old it is.

Thus a customer at tier 5 will maintain the tier 5 discount regardles of the age of his/her prior orders.
 
S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement - Updates and Additions

We have updated the S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement to reflect the upcoming GST exemptions, new S.T.A.R. Storage feature improvements and, based on customer request, to clarify how liability protection amounts are determined and adjusted the liability section accordingly.

Here the details of changes:

Section 3. and 21. (Clarification how liability protection amount is determined)
ADDED to Clause 3.5:
"Liability in case of loss is determined as follows: First London Market fixing price (LBMA) or London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM) for the described Precious Metals on the day following the day on which the loss was discovered and reported."

(please note that: The LBMA Fixing price is the official Silver / Gold price for a given day and this rate is the normal practice for precious metal valuation.)

REPLACED in Clause 21.1:
"shall be limited to the amount that you paid in the transaction in question."
WITH:
"Shall be limited to the liability protection of the bullion stored for the transaction in question, as detailed in clause 3.5."

Section 7. Ownership Records (added new downloadable document)
ADDED Clause 7.1.4: "- S.T.A.R. Storage - Parcel Photos (Customer Specific).This document shows a close-up picture of each parcel you own, clearly showing the parcel seal number and it’s contents. "

Section 10. Withdrawal of precious metals from the Bonded Vault (added October 1st GST exemption clarification)
ADDED Clause 10.3.1: "10.3.1 The Singapore government has announced that from October 1st 2012 onwards bullion, of the type stored in S.T.A.R. Storage, will no longer be subject to GST and can therefore be taken delivery of in Singapore free of GST."

Clause 12. Transaction Security
ADDED Clause 12.2.5: " Silver Bullion offers S.T.A.R. customers two notification options based on their email privacy preferences:
  • Standard Direct E-mail, containing transaction data, to the email address on record
  • Secured Order Notifications over an encrypted and password protected interface along with generic activity emails to your email on record to inform you that new transaction notifications are available
You acknowledge that Secured Order Notifications require you to log into your account to read your messages and that clause 12.2.2. applies to both Direct Mail and Secured Order Notification. You are solely responsible for choosing the communication mode of your preference. "

The updated S.T.A.R. Storage agreement is posted online on May 11 as version "v. 20120511".
See new S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement version "20120511".
See old S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement version "20120120".
 
S.T.A.R. Storage - Inspectorate Certification
As stipulated in the S.T.A.R. Storage Agreement - Section 7.1. a Bullion Inspection is to be performed by a third party London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) approved inspectors. The certified results are made available to S.T.A.R. Customers.

Inspectorate , one of the largest worldwide material inspection companies with over 200 personnel in Singapore alone, is the LBMA approved inspection company that Silver Bullion has engaged to carry out the vault inspections and issued their certified reports.
The Inspectorate has checked 243 parcels (93,170 oz) of bullion stored under S.T.A.R. Storage as of April 26th and successfully matched these with the Silver Bullion Parcel Ownership List and the Freeport Vault Operator Inventory of the same date.

The certified report was issued on May 2nd and is downloadable through the S.T.A.R. Storage Interface.
Archiving
All inspections, weightings and counts matched the stated reports and include precise, independent weighing of stocks and detailed sample parcel inspection.
The report authenticity can be verified directly with Inspectorate under ID MSG1290373/KT.
 
New System Feature - Notification Archive:
The "Order History" interface has been expanded so you can access to your past notifications and invoices through a secure connection from our website.

Invoices are important documents once you plan to sell your bullion and are necessary for customs should you ship the bullion to a foreign country. In case you misplace your original invoice you can now print out a copy through the Order History interface.

Access to this interface occurs over a secured connection and is accessible only when you successfully log onto the system. This archiving functionality is a prerequisite for the "Secure Notification" functionality which is a high-privacy alternative to email communications.

Notifications after the 1st of May are accessible though your Order History once you are logged in.

 
Archiving
 
New System Feature - Secure Notifications:

Although convenient, sending and receiving e-mails are not necessarily a secure communication channel. E-mails are sent in plaintext, routinely pass through a large number of scanning processes and are typically permanently stored online by e-mail providers (for e.g. Gmail, Hotmail etc...).

For customers who are concerned about their e-mail privacy we now offer an integrated notification system that is similar in concept to that used by internet banking websites.

In "Secured Notification" mode no e-mails containing transaction data will be sent to you, instead a generic "notification remainder" e-mail will be sent to your inbox to notify you that there is a message for you.

Simply follow the e-mailed link, log into your Silver Bullion account and read the message (or download the associated PDFs) over an encrypted connection. You can also submit secured replies to order related notifications.

supply

Thus, "Secured Notification" transaction data and documents are viewed over an encrypted connection and are not saved in e-mail servers as only the generic reminders are sent by e-mail.

You can easily opt in or out of this notification system by selecting either "Standard Email" or the "Secured Notification" option under "Privacy and Emails" in your customer profile.

 
Bullion Availability Update

Bullion demand in April and May of 2012 is still muted worldwide. We expect sharply increased activity by September as the United States of America approaches its new debt ceiling limit just ahead of the presidential elections. This will likely cause the media to focus on the catastrophic debt levels of the United States.

In Singapore the surprise announcement on excepting GST on bullion by the Singapore Government last February has caused many local investors to wait for the tax exemption. Silver Bullion's S.T.A.R. Storage program has become popular in this environment, with over 75,000 troy ounces stored for customers since early February. S.T.A.R. Storage allows for GST Free Purchase and storage in the Singapore Freeport with the option to take tax free delivery of the bullion when GST on bullion is removed in October.

In this section we summarize our inventory status and current bullion availabilities as reported by our suppliers and industry sources:

Local, Export & S.T.A.R. Storage Availability
  • supply Silver Maple Leafs -2012 coins are available both locally and for S.T.A.R. Storage. This is still the most popular bullion coin in Singapore. About 9,000 are available for immediate purchase tax free at the Singapore Freeport, 5000 locally.
     
  • supply Silver American Eagles - Recently these have gained in popularity. The 2012 edition of the coins are available in S.T.A.R. Storage, and we have just received a local 3,500 coin shipment.
     
  • supply Johnson Matthey 100 oz Poured Silver Bars & A-Mark Bars - Availability is good for JM bars. We have added 10 oz A-Mark bars to S.T.A.R. Storage availability in the form of a 100 oz mini parcel option consisting of 10 x 10 oz bars.
     
  • supply Gold - Gold Maple Leafs and 10 oz Credit Suisse bars have immediate availability both locally and for S.T.A.R. Storage.
Local & Export Availability
  • supply Perth Mint Coins and Bars - Availability of 1/2 and 2 oz Lunar Year of the Dragon 2012 coins is good with several thousand coins in stock. Bars are also available.
     
  • supply Silver Vienna Philharmonics - Available locally.
     
  • supply Libertad Coins - Available locally.
     
  • supply Platinum & Palladium Bullion - Credit Suisse Palladium 1 oz bars are available. Credit Suisse Platinum bars are currently in short supply locally.
     


See more products and prices at www.SilverBullion.com.sg

Best Regards

The Silver Bullion Team

Silver Bullion Pte Ltd
GST Registration Nr: 200907537M
Floor #05-1A Certis CISCO Center II
20 Jalan Afifi, Singapore 409179
Singapore

Phone: (65) 6100-3040
Fax: (65) 6826-4022
Email: [email protected]

Information provided here should not be considered as advice or as an offer or enticement to buy, sell or trade. The contents of this publication, including any opinions and analysis, are strictly intended for educational use. Opinions expressed in bylined articles are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Silver Bullion Pte Ltd.

Silver Bullion Pte Ltd. makes no warranties, whether expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information provided or for eventual results obtained by using the information. In no case shall Silver Bullion Pte Ltd. be liable for direct, indirect, or incidental damages resulting from the use of the information.

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