Gold ETF Investment May Increase 30% This Year

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"If all of the components that have been driving the price of gold remain in place, you could easily see our global product suite at 1,000 tonnes within a year," Stuart Thomas, managing director of World Gold Trust Services, told Reuters.

Investment in gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) promoted by the World Gold Council could surge almost 30 percent in 2008, if bullion prices continue to set record highs, a top fund official said yesterday.

Gold ETFs, listed on stock exchanges around the world, offer investors exposure in the underlying commodity without taking physical delivery.

Sponsors of such funds buy a matching amount of the commodity and keep it in bank vaults. Interest has exploded recently as gold prices hit record highs above $930 per ounce.

"If all of the components that have been driving the price of gold remain in place, you could easily see our global product suite at 1,000 tonnes within a year," Stuart Thomas, managing director of World Gold Trust Services, told Reuters.

World Gold Trust is the sponsor of U.S.-listed streetTRACKS , which is the world's largest gold ETF. It accounts for 80 percent of 781 tonnes of gold -- worth over $22 billion -- held by several gold funds promoted by the World Gold Council.

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