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  • Gold ETFs Gain Popularity in India as Safe Investment Options

    Tue May 14 2024


    India's investment landscape is witnessing a significant shift towards gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with ICRA Analytics highlighting an uptick in demand for these financial instruments. This surge is primarily driven by their perceived safety, attractive returns, and the convenience they offer to investors. Gold ETFs are not only considered secure due to stringent regulations but have also been lucrative, with some funds reporting one-year returns exceeding 18 per cent, as noted by Ashwini Kumar, Senior Vice President and Head Market Data at ICRA Analytics.


    The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has provided data indicating that gold ETFs experienced net inflows of approximately Rs 2,028.05 crore during the January-March period. This preference for gold ETFs over physical gold is attributed to their lower purchase costs, real-time trading on exchanges, and the mirroring of physical gold's price and returns in the ETF format. As of March 31, 2024, the net assets under management (AUM) for gold ETFs saw a near 37 per cent increase, reaching Rs 31,224 crore compared to Rs 22,737 crore in the previous year. Furthermore, by April 30, 2024, the net AUM under gold ETFs rose by 43 per cent to Rs 32,789 crore from Rs 22,950 crore in the same timeframe last year.


    The growing interest in gold ETFs can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, these funds are seen as a safer investment option due to their adherence to strict regulatory standards. Secondly, the convenience of trading gold ETFs on exchanges like stocks makes them accessible to a broader range of investors. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of investing in gold ETFs compared to physical gold has made them an attractive option for those looking to diversify their investment portfolios without incurring high expenses.


    Implications for Investors The remarkable growth in the AUM of gold ETFs underscores their increasing acceptance among Indian investors as a viable investment vehicle. With returns closely tracking those of physical gold and the added benefits of safety and convenience, gold ETFs present an appealing alternative for those seeking to include gold in their investment portfolios. The data from AMFI further solidifies the position of gold ETFs as a preferred choice for investors aiming to capitalize on the stability and returns offered by gold as an asset class.


    In conclusion, the shift towards gold ETFs in India's investment sphere reflects a broader trend of seeking secure and convenient investment options that do not compromise on returns. As these funds continue to gain traction among investors, they represent a significant component of India's evolving financial landscape.