It’s not a physically-backed product, but the industry’s first aluminum exchange traded fund (ETF) should still hold a lot of appeal to investors who want exposure to the metal’s producers.
Global X Aluminum (NYSEArca: ALUM) tracks a basket of aluminum producers and miners, the first such ETF to do so. Previous products have come in exchange traded note (ETN) form, in the case of iPath Dow Jones-UBS Aluminum (NYSEArca: JJU), or tracked a basket of futures, such as PowerShares DB Base Metals (NYSEArca: DBB), which gives exposure to zinc and copper, as well.
Global X feels that aluminum is another way for investors to play the global infrastructure boom. Aluminum has a wide range of uses, from packaging (cans, foil, bottle caps) to transportation (in planes and cars) – and that’s only scratching the surface of how it’s used. Aluminum is so popular across a range of industries because it’s lightweight and resistant to corrosion.
ALUM will charge a 0.69% expense ratio. The United States has the largest allocation in the fund with 21.5% of the weight. Hong Kong is 19.5%, while Japan and Great Britain get a 15% weight. The fund may get off to a rocky start today: Alcoa (NYSE: AA), which is 10% of the fund, got a downgrade from buy to hold, sending its shares down.
The ETF industry is still eagerly awaiting the launch of a physically-backed aluminum ETF, but Global X’s offering should sate the appetite…for now.