The SPDR Gold Shares just started trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange today after months of anticipation. (We reported on it in August 2007. Read the article here.) However, according to a Reuters article, the turnover of 48,350 shares (or $4.45 million) was below expectations.
Currently, the SPDR Gold Shares trust has about $19 billion in assets, which translates into nearly 21 million ounces of gold. That makes it the biggest asset-backed gold fund in the world.
The Tokyo bourse is looking to expand its listings and increase its volumes. The cross-listing of the SPDR Gold Shares, which already trade on the Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges in addition to the NYSE, is part of that effort. The fund is competing directly with an ETF listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange that tracks a gold price index rather than holding bullion—Japanese law, prior to recent changes, did not permit ETFs to physically own gold, and the SPDR fund is the first in the country to do so. The OSE-listed fund's turnover for Monday was 235,380 shares.
Based on the recent Reuters article, it appears domestic brokerages might be slow to promote the new product, contributing to its less-than-stellar opening day. But although it's off to a relatively slow start, it seems likely the fund will gain momentum as more investors become aware of its availability.