First Trust Plans Copper, Platinum ETFs

January 26, 2010


First Trust has filed papers for three new commodity and emerging-market-focused exchange-traded funds, as the Lisle, Ill.-based ETF provider tries to capture some of the excitement in those markets.

The new funds in registration are:

  • First Trust BICK Index Fund (Nasdaq: BICK)
  • First Trust ISE Global Copper Index Fund
  • First Trust ISE Global Platinum Index Fund

BICK is a variant on the popular BRIC—Brazil, Russia, India and China—funds, which have gathered billions of dollars over the past few years as a focused way to play the most exciting emerging markets. Certain investors are uncomfortable with Russia exposure, however, so BICK swaps out Russia for the emerging markets giant South Korea (K).

The fund will track an equal-weighted index that allocates 25 percent of its portfolio to each respective country. The index’s methodology also calls for equal weighting allocations for all components within a country allocation. To be included in the portfolio, companies must not only be headquartered in one of the four countries, but they must also have a market capitalization of at least $100 million.

The copper and platinum Funds, which will also be listed on the Nasdaq, will track ISE indexes composed largely of mining, exploration and refining firms. The global copper fund will track companies that are directly involved with some aspect of copper mining, refining or exploration. Similarly, the platinum fund will invest in companies linked to platinum, palladium, osmium, iridium, ruthenium and rhodium industries.

The indexes use a modified linear-weighted methodology adjusted by revenue exposure to copper or platinum production. The strategy allows for smaller, more pure-play companies to have an added weight in the index.

Earlier this month, ETF Securities launched the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSEArca: PPLT) and ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEArca: PALL)—the first of their kind in the space—to meet strong investment demand. But unlike First Trust's proposed ETF, PPLT and PALL are physically backed vehicles.

The expense ratio for each of the funds is pegged at 70 basis points.

You can read the prospectus here.



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