December 15, 2010

New ETFS Product Has All That Glitters
ETF Securities launched during October the first-ever physical precious metals basket to list in the U.S.. The ETFS Physical Precious Metal Basket Shares (NYSE Arca: GLTR) is already available to investors in Europe, Australia and Japan, and is designed to streamline the process of achieving the portfolio diversification that precious metals afford.

Each share of GLTR holds 0.03 ounces of gold; 1.1 ounces of silver; 0.004 ounces of platinum; and 0.006 ounces of palladium. According to ETFS, the formula comes from using a screen that takes into account variables on each of the metals, including liquidity, new mining supply, total demand and industrial supply.

The fund charges an annual expense ratio of 0.60 percent.

Van Eck Debuts China A-Shares Fund
In mid-October, Van Eck launched an ETF that taps into the China A-shares market. The Market Vectors China ETF (NYSE Arca: PEK) gives investors front-row access to the performance of the China A-shares market through the use of swaps and derivative instruments while tracking the CSI 300 Index, which comprises solely China A-shares securities.

China A-shares are securities from mainland China-based companies, and have been mostly off limits to foreign investment and tightly regulated by the government. But ongoing financial reforms that aim to improve foreign investment in mainland companies are slowly making A-shares more accessible.

The fund, which in its initial stages will comprise swaps and derivatives, will eventually hold actual A-Shares securities after Van Eck receives qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) status, according to Van Eck.

PEK comes with an expense ratio of 0.72 percent.

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