File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Holdings of Absa Capital’s platinum-backed exchange traded fund (ETF) had reached more than half a million ounces just 10 weeks after its launch and now accounted for a quarter of all global platinum ETF reserves, the fund said on Friday.

Absa said that as of the end of Thursday, its NewPlat ETF held 503 613 ounces of platinum.

Despite a relatively poor performance in the spot platinum price, there has been strong interest in the fund since its launch on April 26.

The price of platinum is down 13 percent this year, but investors are opting for physical exposure to the metal rather than buying shares in producers.

“This is indicative of the very healthy appetite for physical investment in platinum group metals that exists in South Africa,” Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said.

The NewPlat ETF is now the second-largest physical platinum ETF after New York-based ETFS physical platinum shares, which holds 611 847 ounces.

That product took two years to hit the half a million ounce mark. – Reuters