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Gold rush 2020: ETFs now hold more yellow metal than any central bank

Total fees for the top 10 gold ETFs, based on current prices and holdings, are about $610 million a year, according to a Bloomberg News calculation

gold, jewellery
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Jack Farchy and Eddie Spence | Bloomberg
In the 19th century California gold rush, the surest way to a fortune, according to Mark Twain, was to be in the “pick and shovel business.”

If 2020 gold fever has an equivalent, it’s the ETF business.

Exchange-traded funds backed by physical gold and silver accumulated more than $50 billion of bullion this year. ETFs now hold more gold than every central bank with the exception of the Federal Reserve.

That’s generated windfall fees for ETFs and has been a boon for everyone involved in the business of servicing those enormous hordes of shiny metal. That includes the financial firms

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First Published: Aug 23 2020 | 2:48 PM IST

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