The first two China-listed physically backed gold exchange traded funds have come up against an indifferent market as enthusiasm for gold assets abated. Or Chinese investors may just prefer holding physical gold.
Huaan Asset Management Co. and Guotai Asset Management Co. gold ETFs only brought in $195 million and $66.8 million, respectively, since they came to market in June, Bloomberg reports. Huaan initially projected the fund to attract $400 million, and Guotai believed the number to be “conservative.” [China Prepares First Gold ETFs]
The funds have enough assets to correspond with 6 metric tons, or 211,644 ounces. Gold futures are currently trading around $1,315 per ounce.
Along with the lower gold prices, interest in gold assets has waned in China, the world’s second-largest gold consumer, as a liquidity crunch pushed investors into fixed-income securities.
“Enthusiasm is ebbing with prices dropping further than people expected when they bought in mid-April,” Zhang Yifan, a strategist at China Galaxy, said in the article. “Most of them now are taking a wait-and-see attitude before committing to buy any more.”
Gold futures have declined as much as 39% on June 28 from the record $1,921.15 per ounce in September 2011. Meanwhile, assets in global bullion backed exchange traded products dropped about 25% year-to-date as investors pulled $60 billion out of gold funds.
The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD) currently holds around 939.07 tons of gold, its lowest since 2009. Year-to-date, GLD has lost $19.8 billion in assets, the most outflows of any ETFs so far this year. [Futures-Based ETF in Focus as Gold Goes Into Backwardation]
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Max Chen contributed to this article.
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.