ETF Spotlight on ETFS Physical Platinum (NYSEArca: PPLT), part of a weekly series.

Assets: ETF Securities, the provider of PPLT, announced that assets hit $372 million as of Feb. 1

Objective: To reflect the performance of the price of platinum, minus expenses

Holdings: PPLT is backed by platinum bullion bars held in both London and Switzerland

What You Should Know

  • PPLT is currently the only U.S.-listed ETF that gives investors physical exposure to platinum
  • All physical platinum in the fund is individually identified
  • The platinum is inspected biannually by an independent auditor
  • Bar numbers, pricing information and net asset value of the trust are available on ETF Securities’ website
  • Has a 0.60% expense ratio
  • The trustee is Bank of New York Mellon

The Latest News

  • Analysts expect both platinum and palladium to have a stellar year in 2010 because of the increase in industrial production. The latest launch of the related ETFs will also put pressure on demand for the metals. [Why Platinum Is the New Gold.]
  • The London Bullion Market Association forecasts that platinum prices will range between $900 and $2,578 an ounce this year, with an average of $1,550.
  • Even when the West began thinking twice about buying any jewelry in the face of the economic crisis, China stepped in to buy large amounts at the lower prices. Much of the demand for platinum comes from the jewelry market, where fashion trends and economic factors have increased interest in the metal. [The Case for Platinum.]
  • Platinum should get a lift from a recovering auto market. Car sales in China shot up by nearly 53% to 10.3 million in 2009, while total auto sales – including heavy commercial vehicles – rose 46.2% to 13.8 million units. Experts still expect the sector to post a solid year-on-year gain of 10%–15% this year.

For past ETF Spotlights, visit our page.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.