October 3, 2006

Silver ETF share registration increase doesn't require metal purchases

Barclays Files to Add Shares to Silver ETF

From Reuters
Monday, October 2, 2006

NEW YORK -- Barclays Global Investors on Monday said it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register 15.2 million new shares of the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), which has proven popular with investors as a silver play this year.

"It provides us with flexibility," said Barclays spokeswoman Christine Hudacko.

The registration would almost double the amount that could potentially be invested in the trust to 32 million shares.

iShares Silver Trust is traded on the American Stock Exchange. Barclays launched the exchange traded fund in April with a cap of about 16.8 million iShares available for investors.

"We are registering additional shares. That does not mean the trust is automatically going to buy additional metal," Hudacko said, adding that the SEC requires that a ceiling be established for the size of the fund.

The ETF is backed by silver bullion stored in vaults in allocated accounts. Each share is worth 10 ounces of silver, meaning that, fully subscribed, it could now hold 320 million ounces, an increase of 152 million.

Investors must buy the shares before the trust administrators will buy the bullion to back it.

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