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Expect More Metal Exchange-Traded Products, Fuhr Says

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- More exchange-traded products based on metals are likely as suppliers of other commodities seek the same boost that gold has received in the market, BlackRock Inc.’s Deborah Fuhr said.

“Everyone seems to want to get involved in the exchange-traded-product area, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see others, particularly on the metals side, come to market,” Fuhr, global head of ETF research and implementation strategy for BlackRock, said at a Bloomberg Link forum in Toronto today.

The assets of the world’s commodity exchange-traded products increased to $159.3 billion in October from $7 billion at the end of 2005, according to BlackRock. Seventy-six percent of the assets were in precious-metal products.

Gold futures have outperformed an index of Canadian gold companies’ stocks, 167 percent to 88 percent, since the end of 2005, as exchange-traded products made it easier to invest in physical gold.

BlackRock, ETF Securities Ltd. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have said they plan to start funds backed by copper, the world’s third-most widely used metal behind iron and aluminum.

Fuhr said she couldn’t comment on what other commodities might back exchange-traded products. Some items would make poor candidates for products backed by physical commodities.

“You’re not going to have a warehouse where you’re sticking cattle or lean hogs,” she said.

BlackRock, based in New York, oversees $3.45 trillion.

Editors: Stephen Kleege, Joanna Ossinger

To contact the reporter on this story; Matt Walcoff in Toronto at mwalcoff1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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