New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (“NYMEX”) Notice to Members 05-50, published on February 22, 2005, provides an interpretation of Exchange of Futures for Physical (“EFP”) transactions traded on COMEX to confirm that the Exchange would accept gold-backed exchange-traded Funds ("ETF") shares as the physical commodity component for an EFP transaction involving COMEX gold futures contracts, provided that all elements of a bona fide EFP pursuant to Exchange Rule 104.36 are satisfied.
For your convenience, NYMEX Notice to Members 05-50 is being re-disseminated below.
Should you have any questions, please contact Anthony Densieski at (212) 299-2881.
Notice to Members
Notice No. 50
Interpretation of COMEX Division EFPS: Gold-Backed Exchange-Traded ETF Shares Accepted as Cash Leg of EFP
Exchange Rule 104.36, which governs exchanges of futures for physicals ("EFP") transactions on the COMEX Division, refers to a "physical commodity" as one of the required components of an EFP transaction but also indicates that the physical commodity need only be substantially the economic equivalent of the futures contract being exchanged.
The purpose of this Notice is to confirm that the Exchange would accept gold-backed exchange-traded Funds ("ETF") shares as the physical commodity component for an EFP transaction involving COMEX gold futures contracts, provided that all elements of a bona fide EFP pursuant to Exchange Rule 104.36 are satisfied.
Thus, acceptable gold-backed and exchange-traded ETF funds include, but are not limited to, the iShares COMEX® Gold Trust (ticker: IAU), which began trading on the American Stock Exchange on January 28, 2005.
That trust is an exchange-traded fund that provides a means of obtaining a level of participation in the gold market through the securities market. The trust shares are intended to constitute a means of making an investment similar to an investment in gold. Each trust share represents a fractional undivided beneficial interest in the trust's net assets which consist primarily of gold held by a custodian on behalf of the trust. The shares of that trust are expected to reflect the price of gold less the trust's expenses and liabilities.