iShares Gold Trust ETF Shares Outstanding Jump Most Since February 2006

Shares outstanding in the iShares Gold Trust, the fourth-largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, jumped the most in more than four years yesterday.

The number of shares held rose by 27 million, or 7.6 percent, to 383,550,000, the biggest gain since February 2006, according to Bloomberg data. About 28 million shares changed hands yesterday in a single block transaction that was equal to more than 90 percent of the day’s volume. The trade, which occurred at 1:41 p.m. in New York at $13.6762 a share, was worth about $383 million.

Soros Fund Management, which according to Soro’s website manages about $27 billion, added a stake in the iShares Gold Trust in the third quarter after cutting its holding in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest fund backed by bullion. Investors have accumulated record amounts of the precious metal this year, sending assets in global exchange-traded products up 17 percent, data from 10 providers show.

Shares outstanding of the SPDR Gold Trust were unchanged yesterday at 424,700,000. Yesterday at 1:40 p.m., about 2.8 million shares of SPDR Gold Trust were traded in a single block transaction that was equal to more than 20 percent of the day’s volume.

Gold futures, which touched a record $1,432.50 an ounce on Dec. 7, rose $6.30, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,404.30 an ounce at 1:46 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal, up 28 percent this year, is headed for the 10th straight annual gain.

Lance Berg, a spokesman for the iShares fund, and Natalie Zarechnak, a spokeswoman for the SPDR fund, declined to comment about the trades.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pham-Duy Nguyen in Seattle at pnguyen@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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