Will Newmont take Gold Fields out of Harmony''s way?

Section:

By Zachary Howard
Reuters
Wednesday, February 2, 2005

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7517672

NEW YORK -- Barclays Global Investors may be seeking
to branch out in commodity-based exchange-traded funds,
such as silver and broad-based commodity ETFs, on the
heels of the debut of its iShares COMEX Gold Trust last
week.

Silver industry sources familiar with Barclays' ETF
projects said on Wednesday that the company hopes to
come out with a silver-backed fund this year.

Barclays has started to analyze the silver market in
preparation for developing an ETF, though it still
appeared to be in the early stages, one contact said.

San Francisco-based Barclays has not yet filed a
registration for such a product with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission.

A Barclays spokeswoman said she was not able to
discuss the company's involvement in a silver ETF. But
she confirmed Barclays' interest in additional funds
backed by metals or groups of commodities, adding
the iShares product development team saw
commodities and fixed income as its top priorities.

"We are exploring other commodity opportunities
because our clients are certainly expressing a lot of
interest in this area," the Barclays spokeswoman said.

She said she could not be more specific due to the
"quiet period" that typically surrounds SEC registration
filings.

Commodity-based ETFs are designed as investment
alternatives to the physical goods themselves, which
are difficult and costly for the nonprofessional to move,
store, and insure.

Big institutional investors such as hedge funds and
pension funds are increasingly making ETFs part of
their strategies, due to the securities' low cost and
high liquidity.

ETFs are also proving popular with financial advisers
and some individual investors who can buy them through
a brokerage account.

Barclays' iShares COMEX Gold Trust, which is the
second gold-backed security to launch in the United
States, was listed last Friday on the American Stock
Exchange.

Barclays Global Investors manages assets of around
$1.3 trillion.

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