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SEBI introduces operating norms for silver exchange-traded funds; 10 key points

SEBI introduces operating norms for silver exchange-traded funds; 10 key points

SEBI has said for Silver ETFs, the investment objective of funds will be to generate returns in line with the performance of physical silver in domestic prices.

A Silver ETF Scheme will invest at least 95 per cent of the net assets of the scheme in silver and silver-related instruments. A Silver ETF Scheme will invest at least 95 per cent of the net assets of the scheme in silver and silver-related instruments.

Market regulator SEBI has notified amendments to the MF Regulations for a regulatory mechanism on Silver Exchange Traded Funds (Silver ETFs). SEBI said these changes will come into force on the 30th day from the date of their publication in the official gazette. The new norms will help investors make an informed decision about their investment in such a commodity in a transparent manner.

SEBI has said for Silver ETFs, the investment objective of funds will be to generate returns in line with the performance of physical silver in domestic prices, subject to tracking error.

Here are the 10 key changes introduced by the SEBI:

  1. A Silver ETF Scheme will invest at least 95 per cent of the net assets of the scheme in silver and silver-related instruments.
  2. The Exchange Traded Commodity Derivatives (ETCDs) that have silver as the underlying, will be considered as "silver related instrument" for silver ETFs. The exposure to such ETCDs will not exceed 10 per cent of the net asset value of the scheme. The above limit of 10 per cent will not apply to silver ETFs where the intention is to take delivery of the physical silver and not to roll over its position to the next contract cycle.
  3. The cumulative gross exposure of Silver ETFs will not exceed 100 per cent of the net assets of the scheme.
  4. The total expense ratio applicable for Silver ETF schemes will be the same as the TER applicable for other ETFs.
  5. The NAV of Silver ETFs, which will be calculated up to four decimal points, will be disclosed on daily basis on the AMC website. Silver ETF Scheme(s) will be benchmarked against the price of silver (based on LBMA silver daily spot-fixing price).
  6. The AMC will appoint authorised participants (APs) or market makers (MMs) to provide liquidity for the units of silver ETFs in the secondary market on an ongoing basis. APs or MMs and large investors may directly buy or sell units with the mutual fund in creation unit size.
  7. Along with the disclosure of tracking error, silver ETF schemes will also disclose the tracking difference i.e. the difference of returns between physical silver and the Silver ETF on the AMC website monthly for tenures 1 year, 3-year, 5-year, 10-year and since the date of allotment of units.
  8. To enable the investors to make an informed decision, the Scheme Information Document of Silver ETFs will disclose tracking error and tracking difference, market risk due to volatility in silver prices, liquidity risks in physical or derivative markets impairing the ability of the fund to buy and sell silver, risks associated with handling, storing and safekeeping of physical silver; and tax provisions.
  9. For commodity-based funds such as Gold ETFs, Silver ETFs and other funds, a dedicated fund manager with relevant skill and experience in the commodities market will be appointed to manage the fund. However, a dedicated fund manager for each commodity-based fund is not mandatory.
  10. The physical verification of silver underlying the Silver ETF units will be carried out by the statutory auditor of the mutual fund and will report the same to trustees on half yearly basis.

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