Hong Kong Surpasses Dubai as Top Hub for Russian Gold Trading Amid Regulatory Changes

The Hong Kong bullion market has witnessed a substantial surge in Russian gold imports, reaching 68 tons this year, quadrupling the figures from 2022. This shift in dynamics has positioned Hong Kong as the new epicenter for Russian gold trading, overtaking Dubai. The transition is attributed to regulatory changes in the UAE that cracked down on illicit trading activities, leading to increased scrutiny.

Rise of Hong Kong in Russian Gold Trade:

According to Bloomberg’s report, Hong Kong’s prominence in global gold trading has been further solidified, with a notable spike in Russian bullion imports since April. The city’s strategic role has been accentuated by the decline of gold trading activities in Dubai due to stringent measures imposed by global regulatory bodies, including the Financial Action Task Force, in March 2022.

Regulatory Changes in the UAE Impact Dubai’s Gold Trade:

The regulatory crackdown in the UAE, prompted by increased scrutiny from global watchdogs, has curtailed gold trading in Dubai. Heightened government oversight on bank transfers and cash payments has disrupted the payment processes for Russian exporters, leading some traders to reroute their shipments to Hong Kong.

Global Shift in Russian Gold Trade:

A significant contributor to the surge in Hong Kong’s Russian gold imports is the impact of Western sanctions on Russia. Excluded from the London bullion market, historically a central hub for gold trade, Russia sought alternative markets in Asia and the Middle East. The sanctions, a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, initially benefited Dubai, but the recent changes have redirected the flow of Russian gold to Hong Kong.


As Hong Kong emerges as the primary hub for Russian gold trading, geopolitical and regulatory shifts continue to reshape the global landscape of precious metal markets. The intricate interplay of sanctions, regulatory actions, and geopolitical events underscores the dynamic nature of the gold trade, with Hong Kong positioned at the forefront of this evolving narrative.

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