JPMorgan Chase & Co. won regulatory approval for the first U.S. exchange-traded fund backed by physical copper, which some industrial users said may disrupt the market.
The proposed rule change by NYSE Arca Inc. to list JPM XF Physical Copper Trust was approved, the regulator said in an order on its website dated Dec. 14. BlackRock Inc. and ETF Securities Ltd. also have said they plan to start physically backed ETFs for industrial metals in the U.S.
A group of industrial copper consumers including AmRod Corp., Southwire Co. and Encore Wire Corp., as well as hedge fund RK Capital LLP, opposed the plan saying funds backed by copper would leave less of the metal available for manufacturers and would create shortages and drive up prices. Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, advised in July rejecting the planned ETF.
A review released last month by a SEC division concluded that asset flows from exchange-traded products tied to metals don’t have a significant impact on the price of the commodity. Those findings were disputed by the copper-users group.
ETFs trade like stocks, giving investors access to commodities such as copper without taking physical delivery. ETF Securities started the first exchange-traded products backed by copper, nickel and tin in London in December 2010.
NYSE Arca Inc., the electronic platform of NYSE Euronext, filed with the SEC to list and trade JPM XF Physical Copper Trust, according to an April 2 document. It sought approval to list BlackRock’s iShares Copper Trust on June 19.