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WGC eyes launch of gold ETF trading

THE World Gold Council is working with Chinese partners to introduce a gold exchange traded fund (ETF) on Chinese mainland, its China manager said yesterday.

"It's a natural trend for Chinese mainland to introduce a gold ETF to diversify gold investment channels," Wang Lixin, the WGC's China manager, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Wang declined to reveal which specific exchange in Chinese mainland will introduce the product but said that gold ETFs are a common product traded at stock exchanges overseas.

Wang declined to give a timetable for the launch of a gold ETF, which is already traded in Hong Kong, on the Chinese mainland.

Shanghai earlier this week unveiled measures to build up the city as a major financial hub by 2020, including the introduction of more derivatives, which might involve a gold ETF.

The city is home to the country's biggest bourse, the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It could be a possible platform to introduce a gold ETF, but an exchange spokesman told Shanghai Daily that there are no details about the issue.

The volume of gold sales in the first quarter in China was better than expected, he said.

"We are expecting a growth in gold sales in China this year as the first-quarter figures showed that gold sales weren't battered by the financial crisis," said Wang.

Sales of gold bullion and jewelry rose in the first quarter of the year and the high prices of gold in March also attracted people to sell gold bars back.


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