Mumbai: India’s first gold exchange traded fund (GETF), Gold BeES by Benchmark Asset Management Company, was listed on the National Stock Exchange on 19 March.
The listing of the Gold BeES (Benchmark Exchange Traded Scheme) coincided with Gudhi Padwa, the Maharashtrian New Year’s Day that is considered auspicious for buying the precious metal.
“The listing of the gold-based product is to allow the common man to own gold,” Association of Mutual Fund in India (AMFI) chairman A P Kurian said after the listing ceremony.
Benchmark’s Sanjiv Shah and Rajen Mehta have waited for five years since they filed the offer document with Sebi in May 2002.
The Gold BeES can be bought and sold over the stock exchange in units of one gram, just like shares, through a demat account.
Benchmark’s new fund offer for the Gold BeES raised Rs100 crore from around 15,000 applicants spread across 22 states, Benchmark AMC executive director Sanjiv Shah said.
Benchmark’s allotment price for each unit of Gold BeES was Rs945.7. The company has appointed authorised participants, who will deposit and offload gold for equivalent units of Gold BeES.
Bank of Nova Scotia has been appointed as the custodian bank for physical safekeeping of gold against, which the units have been issued to the subscribers.
The GETF is an investment option for those who traditonally buy gold for marriages, but don’t get the best deal from jewellers, Kurian said.
However, the scheme will not deliver physical gold to buyers but will allow them to store units in dematerialised form for future encashment.
“In the next stage the gold-based products from mutual funds will be able to deliver gold, we will start working on it now,” Kurian said.
Prices of Gold BeES units will be linked to international gold prices and won’t see much change as just the trading will shift from traditional way to the stock exchanges, Shah said.
Internationally GETFs are listed in Australia, South Africa and US markets and have assets under management worth $12 billion, Kurian said.
UTI Mutual Fund is slated to list its GETF in the first week of April, its new fund offer closed only last week. Kotak Mutual Fund and Birla Sun Life have also filed offer documents for GETF.
The ETF closed the day at Rs947 per unit, down Rs53 from its open at Rs1,000 on the NSE.