Investor assets in gold ETFs near Rs 12,000 crore mark

Gold

Rising gold prices and continuing investor demand has pushed the size of assets held through gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) to an all-time high of Rs 11,918 crore in the country.

The surge in asset size of gold funds continues even as the government has taken steps to direct the flow of household savings into equity, mutual funds and other financial instruments, rather than to idle assets like gold.

According to data compiled by mutual fund industry body AMFI, the assets under management (AUM) of gold ETFs stood at Rs 11,918 crore at the end of November 30, 2012.

There are as many as around 25 different gold ETF schemes offered by 14 different fund houses at present. These products, which track gold prices, provide an opportunity to accumulate it over time since they can be bought in small

quantities.

The total AUM of gold ETFs had crossed Rs 11,000 crore mark in September, while it had surpassed the psychological mark of Rs 10,000 crore in April 2012.

The total investor wealth in gold ETFs stood at over Rs 5,000 crore level in May 2011, the historic data showed. In the last three months (September-November), inflows worth nearly Rs 1,000 crore have come into gold ETFs. In 2011-12, over Rs 3,600 crore was pumped, while Rs 2,250 crore inflows came in 2010-11.

Industry experts say that benefits such as no risk of theft and zero storage cost compared to physical gold, have sustained this interest among investors since the first gold ETF was launched in February, 2007.

Gold prices have also more than tripled from Rs 10,000 levels to Rs 31,000 in last five years. These factors have contributed to rush for gold ETFs and the category has seen AUM soar from Rs 138 crore in April, 2007 to Rs 11,918 crore in November, 2012 - over 85 times in 5 years.

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