(Kitco News) - Weak investor demand in gold markets remains a major concern as outflows continue to plague gold-backed exchange-traded funds.
However, the World Gold Council is trying to change investors’ perceptions of the yellow metal with the creation of a new program. On Thursday, the council announced the appointment of William Rhind as the managing director of its new Institutional Investment Program.
According to the WGC, Rhind will be “responsible for developing and implementing initiatives focused on expanding the use of SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) and other physical gold-backed products.” GLD is the world’s biggest gold-backed ETF and since the start of the year has seen significant outflows as investors moved out of gold and into better performing equity markets.
"I am delighted to be joining the World Gold Council and look forward to helping investors better understand the benefits of including gold in their portfolio strategies,” said Rhind in a press release from the WGC.
According to data from SPDR Gold Shares, as of Sept. 19, the ETF’s reserves stood at 912 metric tons. At the start of the year, the trust’s reserve stood at 1,349 metric tons, meaning a decline of more than 32% for the year.
April was the biggest month for outflows for the trust; gold reserves declined by more than 138 metric tons. The decline in reserves is not surprising as April saw the biggest decline in prices in more than 30 years. On April 12 and 15, gold dropped more than 13% for the two days.
However outflows appear to be slowing down. In August the reserves dropped by only 0.02 metric ton; so far in September, reserves are down by about 7 metric tons.
Before moving to the WGC, Rhind was the managing director and a member of the executive committee at ETF Securities.
By Neils Christensen of Kitco News firstname.lastname@example.org