Your wait for the platinum and palladium ETF products is over. Today marked the launch of the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) and ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL). These ETFs are similar to the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) in that they are backed by physical assets in plate and ingot form in a secure London Platinum Palladium Market-approved vault.
ETFS noted that the Platinum and Palladium plates and ingots are stored on behalf of each trust, and will undergo a bi-annual audit performed by an independent external bullion specialist auditor with results to be published. Both the platinum and palladium ETFs have an expense ratio of 0.60% per year.
This will give ETF Securities a broader metals lineup after its ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSE: SGOL) and ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSE: SIVR) ended with combined assets under management of $492 million (US dollars) as of the end of the year.
We noted earlier in the week how these ETF launches were creating underlying moves in two key stocks: Stillwater Mining Co. (NYSE: SWC) and North American Palladium Ltd. (NYSE: PAL).
- The first, Stillwater Mining (SWC) is up another 5.5% at $12.42 after it hit a new 52-week high today of $12.65. This one was at $9.48 on December 31 and $8.89 on December 24.
- The second, North American Palladium (PAL) has seen its shares get within a penny of the $4.20 high today and shares are now selling off on the news and down at $4.01 on 1.3 million shares. That was a $3.50 stock on December 31 and was at $2.96 on December 24.
As far as other competing ETF (actually ETN) products, there are the UBS E-TRACS Long Platinum Trust ETN (NYSE: PTM) and iPath DJ AIG Platinum Tust Sub-Index ETN (NYSE: PGM).
At 11:41 AM EST we have seen just over 48,000 shares trade in PPLT and the last trade was at $157.64 (versus approximately $1.559.00 for platinum according to Kitco.com) and PALL has traded just over 85,000 shares with a last price of $43.43 (versus a palladium price of $423.00 according to Kitco.com).
JON C. OGG