I am pleased to introduce this, my first, Platinum Developments post – a new series launched today to provide high-level insights into the global platinum investment market. I hope these short posts will be an engaging update for the investor community and a welcome complement to the ongoing stream of data-driven research that we have built up over the past three years.
Platinum Developments #1
London, 29 March 2018
The platinum market, as we all know, is truly global. My intention here is not to restate our positive views on the strength of platinum’s supply demand fundamentals, but instead to share with you my personal reflections on the investor interactions, partner initiatives and new developments we see in the course of our work.
I have talked previously about how investor interest is growing, with improved understanding of both the case for platinum and how to access it.
A bright spot in the market, that I want to highlight in particular, is the significant expansion in investment options for Western investors over the last year.
A few examples of recent progress on this front are:
- New ETFs: Globally, ETF holdings have stabilised and, in some geographies, are growing again, in spite of poor price performance. In the US, the WPIC recently supported the development and launch of a new low-cost platinum ETF issued by GraniteShares. It is early days, but the signs are promising. In the first quarter, assets under management have grown by 50% and currently total over 4,500 oz (more than $4.2 million). The US retail investment market clearly has scale in assets, but historically there have been significant gaps both in terms of regular provision of knowledge about platinum and in the range of investment options.
- BullionVault: We have seen incredible growth in the number of investors accessing platinum via BullionVault’s multilingual bullion trading platform since the company added the metal in March last year. Demand has come from across the spectrum of existing gold and silver investors on the BullionVault platform as well as entirely new investors. In 2017, we saw $15.8m of platinum investment demand via this platform, led by investors in the UK, Germany, and the US. This resulted in over 16,000 oz in platinum holdings. Our market intelligence suggests that this could be just the start.
- Royal Mint: The Royal Mint launched its first platinum bullion products last year; the Signature™ platinum range, and the Queen’s Beast platinum coins. Since then, the 1,000-year-old institution has continued to expand its range of platinum investment products, adding a new 1-ounce platinum coin in February to its existing Royal Britannia series.
All of these WPIC activities with our valued partner organisations support the WPIC’s goal to develop products and channels that make investing in physical platinum much easier – whether through bars, coins, accumulation plans, bullion coin custodial certificates or ETFs.
We have seen positive progress in platinum investment in the West over the last year. We now plan to turn more attention to the East, where we see considerable latent, pent-up demand for platinum. Last month I spoke at a seminar on platinum investment in Shanghai, which we co-hosted with Shanghai Clearing House, New York University and the Shanghai Gold Exchange. The excitement around potential platinum opportunities in China was palpable.
We opened our WPIC office in Shanghai last summer and will be focusing even more of our attention in 2018 on China, particularly on increasing the number of investors considering platinum and improving the number and appeal of platinum investment products available. I look forward to discussing the specifics of some of these opportunities in future Platinum Developments posts.
In the meantime, I welcome your feedback on this new ‘post’ series, and encourage you to get in touch if there are any future topics you would like to see presented or discussed here.
CEO, World Platinum Investment Council
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