China's securities regulator published provisional rules for the operation of gold exchange-traded funds (ETF) on Friday, paving the way for introducing such business into the country's financial market.
There is no specific timetable yet for the listing of gold ETFs, or mutual funds traded on stock exchanges that track the price of gold and have most of their assets invested in gold, according to an official from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
Authorities need to thoroughly study how to regulate gold ETFs in order to protect investors' interests in such new products, said the CSRC official, who declined to be identified.
The move will be part of government efforts to boost the development of both the gold market and the capital market.
Gold ETFs are operated in most of the world's major financial markets, with a combined asset scale of more than 140 billion U.S. dollars as of the end of July 2012, according to a CSRC statement.
China's rapidly growing gold market has created conditions for the development of gold ETFs, said the statement.
China is the world's biggest gold producer and consumer, with its gold output reaching 360.96 tonnes in 2011, according to the China Gold Association.
The value of gold product transactions surged 53.45 percent year on year to 2.48 trillion yuan (395 billion U.S. dollars) at the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the country's major gold bourse, in 2011, the association said.