hedge.” The strong performance by gold has also coincided with the introduction of Gold Exchange Traded Funds (Gold ETFs) and Gold Fund of Funds (Gold FoFs) in India. The objective of these funds is to provide returns that closely correspond to the returns delivered by gold as an asset class. While the first Gold ETF in the country was launched in March 2007, the product has gained momentum only over the past two years.
The average assets under management (AUM) under this category have grown exponentially from Rs. 0.96 billion in March 2007 to Rs. 60 billion as on June 2011. Currently 11 asset management companies offer 11 Gold ETFs and three Gold FoFs in India. “When compared with holding physical gold, gold ETFs provide investors with various benefits like affordability, guaranteed purity, high liquidity, transparent pricing and low holding cost. These benefits along with the tax advantage make gold ETFs a more efficient way of owning gold,” added Mr. Agarwal. Globally, AUM of Gold ETFs has grown over USD 100 bn as on June 2011 as against USD 14 bn in April 2007.
According to Tarun Bhatia, Director – Capital Markets, “CRISIL Gold Index is an attempt to address this inconsistency and will serve as an independent and common benchmark for evaluating the performance of gold ETFs. The index construction methodology adopted by CRISIL is in line with the valuation guideline prescribed by Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for Gold ETFs.” The CRISIL Gold index has a base date of 02 January, 2007 and