Red Kite Wins Time In Fight Against Copper ETF

Jul 20 2012 | 2:12am ET

U.S. regulators will mull for a little longer a proposed copper exchange-traded fund that is bitterly opposed by a major commodities hedge fund.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said yesterday that it has asked JPMorgan Chase, which wants to launch the fund, for more information. The bank has been trying to get the JPM XF Physical Copper Trust off the ground for some two years, but will have to wait another week for a ruling from the SEC.

Opponents of the plan, including RK Capital Management, which runs the Red Kite hedge funds, will then have another 30 days to comment. The SEC's decision means that the ETF could not launch until mid-September at the earliest.

RK and copper users have warned that an ETF backed by physical copper would inflate prices, harm supply and "wreak havoc on the U.S. and global economy." RK's lawyers have said the ETF could eat up as much as one-third of the copper traded on the London Metal Exchange.

Last week, opponents of the ETF got some powerful support in the form of Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who warned that the fund could "create a bubble and burst cycle."

NYSE Arca, the exchange where the ETF would be listed, has argued that it will be too small to impact the global copper markets. But BlackRock has filed to launch an even larger physical copper ETF.

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