26 February 2014

The Corporate and Investment Banking division of Barclays Africa Group Limited (Barclays Africa), today listed the world’s largest platinum exchange traded fund (ETF), NewPlat, on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM). 400,000 NewPlat debentures were listed on the SEM.

First listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in April 2013, NewPlat provides investors on the SME the opportunity to invest directly in platinum bullion as it tracks the platinum price. Each debenture is equivalent to approximately 1/100th of a fine troy ounce of platinum bullion held in a secure depository on behalf of investors.

NewPlat has approximately R14.2-billion assets under management backed by 28 tonnes of platinum bullion. NewPlat became the most traded platinum ETF in the world – just four months after it first listed.

Widening the choice

“The listing of NewPlat on the SEM will help to further expand the Mauritian investment market by widening the choice of asset classes available to local investors, and by also helping facilitate an increase in liquidity on the SEM,” said Vladimir Nedeljkovic, head of Exchange Traded Products at the Corporate and Investment Banking division of Barclays Africa.

NewPlat’s listing on the SEM follows hot on the heels of the listing of Barclays Africa’s fully backed physical gold bullion ETF, NewGold, in July last year. NewGold is also listed in Botswana, Nigeria and Ghana.

The SEM, however, is the first bourse outside of South Africa to list both NewPlat and NewGold and marks yet a further step in broadening the suite of exchange traded products in African markets, and in helping investors reach their ambition in the right way.

“In rolling out both NewGold and NewPlat across the continent, we endeavour to help people prosper and deepen African investment markets through the provision of greater liquidity,” says Nedeljkovic.

Exciting and vibrant platforms

“As Barclays Africa, we believe that African bourses provide exciting and vibrant platforms for our innovative and pioneering exchange traded products. Furthermore, we are delighted to bring world class financial products to local investors at competitive rates.”

ETFs are among the fastest growing investment funds in major markets across the world. In the case of NewPlat or NewGold they offer a low risk route to investing in physical metal without incurring the risks associated with mining the metal posed by equity investments. In addition, ETFs are attractive because of their low costs, tax efficiency and stock-like features.

Barclays Africa’s exchange traded products team was recently ranked first in the ETF category in the 2013 Risk South Africa Rankings survey.