HIGH RATE OF GROWTH
One of the most remarkable aspects of gold ETFs is their rate of growth and investor interest. In March 2003, the World Gold Council helped launch the world's first-ever gold ETF on the Australian Stock Exchange.
SPDR Gold Shares (ticker “GLD") was the first physically backed gold-ETF launched in the US in November 2004. Developed and sponsored by World Gold Trust Services LLC — a wholly owned subsidiary of the World Gold Council — GLD was listed on the NYSE in November 2004.
GLD reached more than $US1 billion in assets under management within its first three trading days. Within a year from its launch, the fund had tripled these assets.
Most major exchanges now list gold ETFs, showing the global interest in this vehicle. Perhaps the most interesting comparison comes when their liquidity is compared to some of the most liquid and actively traded equities.
The average daily traded value, as measured by trading volume of GLD alone (the most liquid gold ETF), is comparable to top technology and financial companies, and to broad index equity ETFs. So it is very easy for investors to redeem their gold ETF when they decide to do so.
Gold, compared with other commodities, has traditionally been seen as a safe haven investment, to protect against the ups and downs of the equities market, and can be stored in a vault at a low cost without deteriorating.
ANZ currently distributes around 15 per cent of the world's primary gold production and is an established bullion bank in Asia Pacific. We have our own precious metals vault which can hold 50 tonnes of bullions located at Singapore Freeport within a high-security area of Singapore Changi Airport.