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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 30, 2021
Registration No. 333-
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
SPONSORED BY iSHARES DELAWARE TRUST SPONSOR LLC
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
c/o iShares Delaware Trust Sponsor LLC
400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Attn: Product Management Team,
iShares Product Research & Development
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant
s principal executive offices)
iShares Delaware Trust Sponsor LLC
400 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Attn: Product Management Team,
iShares Product Research & Development
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement becomes effective.
If the only securities being registered on this Form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box: ☐
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box: ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ☒
If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act. ☐
The iShares® Gold Trust (the “Trust”) issues shares (“Shares”) representing fractional undivided beneficial interests in its net assets. The assets of the Trust consist primarily of gold held by a custodian on behalf of the Trust. The Trust seeks to reflect generally the performance of the price of gold. The Trust seeks to reflect such performance before payment of the Trust’s expenses and liabilities. The Shares are listed and trade on NYSE Arca, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) under the ticker symbol IAU. Market prices for the Shares may be different from the net asset value per Share. iShares® Delaware Trust Sponsor LLC (the “Sponsor”) is the sponsor of the Trust; The Bank of New York Mellon (the “Trustee”) is the trustee of the Trust, and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., London branch (the “Custodian”), is the custodian of the Trust. The Trust is not an investment company registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”). The Trust is not a commodity pool for purposes of the United States Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended (the “Commodity Exchange Act” or “CEA”).
The Trust intends to issue Shares on a continuous basis. The Trust issues and redeems Shares only in blocks of 50,000 or integral multiples thereof. A block of 50,000 Shares is called a “Basket.” These transactions take place in exchange for gold. Only registered broker-dealers that become authorized participants by entering into a contract with the Sponsor and the Trustee (“Authorized Participants”) may purchase or redeem Baskets. Shares will be offered to the public from time to time at prices that will reflect the price of gold and the trading price of the Shares on NYSE Arca at the time of the offer.
On April 29, 2021, the Shares closed on NYSE Arca at $16.90 and the LBMA Gold Price PM (as defined in “Business of the Trust– Valuation of Gold; Computation of Net Asset Value” section of this prospectus) was $1,762.65 per ounce.
Except when aggregated in Baskets, Shares are not redeemable securities.
Investing in the Shares involves significant risks. See
starting on page 6.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission (the
) nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the securities offered in this prospectus, or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
The Shares are not interests in nor obligations of either the Sponsor or the Trustee.
“iShares” is a registered trademark of BlackRock, Inc. or its affiliates.
The date of this prospectus is April 30, 2021.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Before making an investment decision, you should consider carefully the risks described below, as well as the other information included in this prospectus.
Risks Related to Gold
Actual or perceived disruptions in the processes used to determine the LBMA Gold Price PM, or lack of confidence in that benchmark, may adversely affect the return on your investment in the Shares (if any).
Because the objective of the Trust is to reflect the performance of the price of gold, any disruptions affecting the processes related to how the market determines the price of gold will have an effect on the value of the Shares.
The LBMA Gold Price AM and LBMA Gold Price PM are gold price benchmark mechanisms administered by ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”), an independent specialist benchmark administrator appointed by the LBMA. Twice daily during London business hours, IBA hosts an electronic auction consisting of one or more 30-second rounds.
Investors should keep in mind that electronic markets are not exempt from failures, as the experiences of the initial public offerings of Facebook and BATS Global Markets illustrate.
As of the date of this prospectus, the LBMA Gold Price AM and LBMA Gold Price PM have been subjected to the test of actual trading markets for approximately five years. As with any innovation, it is possible that electronic failures or other unanticipated events may occur that could result in delays in the announcement of, or the inability of the system to produce, an LBMA Gold Price AM or LBMA Gold Price PM on any given day. In addition, if a perception were to develop that the LBMA Gold Price AM or LBMA Gold Price PM is vulnerable to manipulation attempts, or if the administration proceedings surrounding the determination and publication of the LBMA Gold Price AM or LBMA Gold Price PM were seen as unfair, biased or otherwise compromised by the markets, the behavior of investors and traders in gold may change, and those changes may have an effect on the price of gold (and, consequently, the value of the Shares). In any of these circumstances, the intervention of extraneous events disruptive of the normal interaction of supply and demand of gold at any given time may result in distorted prices and losses on an investment in the Shares that, but for such extraneous events, might not have occurred.
Other effects of disruptions in the determination of the LBMA Gold Price AM or LBMA Gold Price PM or any inaccuracies in setting of the auction prices on the operations of the Trust include the potential for an incorrect valuation of the Trust’s gold, an inaccurate computation of the Sponsor’s Fee, and the sales of gold to cover Trust expenses at prices that do not accurately reflect the fundamentals of the gold market. Each of these events could have an adverse effect on the value of the Shares. The operation of the auction process which determines the LBMA Gold Price is also dependent on the continued operation of the LBMA and the IBA and their applicable systems.
The LBMA Gold Price AM and LBMA Gold Price PM are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (the “FCA”).
As of the date of this prospectus, the Sponsor has no reason to believe that the LBMA Gold Price PM will not fairly represent the price of the gold held by the Trust. Should this situation change, the Sponsor expects to use the powers granted by the Trust’s governing documents to seek to replace the LBMA Gold Price PM with a more reliable indicator of the value of the Trust’s gold. There is no assurance that such alternative value indicator will be identified, or that the process of changing from the LBMA Gold Price PM to a new benchmark price will not adversely affect the price of the Shares.
Future governmental decisions may have significant impact on the price of gold, which may result in a significant decrease or increase in the value of the net assets and the net asset value of the Trust.
Generally, gold prices reflect the supply and demand of available gold. Governmental decisions, such as the executive order issued by the President of the United States in 1933 requiring all persons in the United States to deliver gold to the Federal Reserve or the abandonment of the gold standard by the United States in 1971, have been viewed as having significant impact on the supply and demand of gold and the price of gold. Future governmental decisions may have an impact on the price of gold and may result in a significant decrease or increase in the value of the net assets and the net asset value of the Trust. Further regulations applicable to U.S. banks and non-U.S. bank entities operating in the United States with respect to their trading in physical commodities, such as precious metals, may further impact the price of gold in the United States.
Because the Trust holds only
gold, an investment in the Trust may be more volatile than an investment in a more broadly diversified portfolio.
The Trust holds only gold. As a result, the Trust’s holdings are not diversified. Accordingly, the Trust’s net asset value may be more volatile than another investment vehicle with a more broadly diversified portfolio and may fluctuate substantially over short or long periods of time. Fluctuations in the price of gold are expected to have a direct impact on the value of the Shares.
An investment in the Trust may be deemed speculative and is not intended as a complete investment program. An investment in Shares should be considered only by persons financially able to maintain their investment and who can bear the risk of loss associated with an investment in the Trust. Investors should review closely the objective and strategy and redemption provisions of the Trust, as discussed herein, and familiarize themselves with the risks associated with an investment in the Trust.
Risks Related to the Shares
Because the Shares are created to reflect the price of the gold held by the Trust, the market price of the Shares will be as unpredictable as the price of gold has historically been. This creates the potential for losses, regardless of whether you hold Shares for a short-, mid- or long-term period.
Shares are created to reflect, at any given time, the market price of gold owned by the Trust at that time less the Trust’s expenses and liabilities. Because the value of Shares depends on the price of gold, it is subject to fluctuations similar to those affecting gold prices. This exposes your investment in Shares to potential losses if you need to sell your Shares at a time when the price of gold is lower than it was when you made your investment in Shares. Even if you are able to hold Shares for the mid- or long-term you may never realize a profit, because gold markets have historically experienced extended periods of flat or declining prices.
Following an investment in Shares, several factors may have the effect of causing a decline in the prices of gold and a corresponding decline in the price of Shares. Among them:
Conversely, several factors may trigger a temporary increase in the price of gold prior to your investment in the Shares. If that is the case, you will be buying Shares at prices affected by the temporarily high prices of gold, and you may incur losses when the causes for the temporary increase disappear.
Investors should be aware that while gold is used to preserve wealth by investors around the world, there is no assurance that gold will maintain its long-term value in terms of future purchasing power. In the event the price of gold declines, the Sponsor expects the value of an investment in the Shares to decline proportionately.
Furthermore, although gold has been used as a portfolio diversifier due to its historically low-to-negative correlation with stocks and bonds, diversification does not ensure against, nor can it prevent against, risk of loss.
The amount of gold represented by each Share will decrease over the life of the Trust due to the sales of gold necessary to pay the Sponsor
s Fee and other Trust expenses. Without increases in the price of gold sufficient to compensate for that decrease, the price of the Shares will also decline and you will lose money on your investment in Shares.
Although the Sponsor has agreed to assume all organizational and certain ordinary administrative and marketing expenses incurred by the Trust, not all Trust expenses have been assumed by the Sponsor. For example, any taxes and other governmental charges that may be imposed on the Trust’s property will not be paid by the Sponsor. As part of its agreement to assume some of the Trust’s ordinary administrative expenses, the Sponsor has agreed to pay legal fees and expenses of the Trust not in excess of $100,000 per annum. Any legal fees and expenses in excess of that amount will be the responsibility of the Trust.
Because the Trust does not have any income, it needs to sell gold to cover the Sponsor’s Fee and expenses not assumed by the Sponsor. The Trust may also be subject to other liabilities (for example, as a result of litigation) that have also not been assumed by the Sponsor. The only source of funds to cover those liabilities will be sales of gold held by the Trust. Even if there are no expenses other than those assumed by the Sponsor, and there are no other liabilities of the Trust, the Trustee will still need to sell gold to pay the Sponsor’s Fee. The result of these sales is a decrease in the amount of gold represented by each Share. New deposits of gold, received in exchange for new Shares issued by the Trust, do not reverse this trend.
A decrease in the amount of gold represented by each Share results in a decrease in its price even if the price of gold has not changed. To retain the Share’s original price, the price of gold has to increase. Without that increase, the lesser amount of gold represented by the Share will have a correspondingly lower price. If these increases do not occur, or are not sufficient to counter the lesser amount of gold represented by each Share, you will sustain losses on your investment in Shares.
An increase in the Trust expenses not assumed by the Sponsor, or the existence of unexpected liabilities affecting the Trust, will force the Trustee to sell larger amounts of gold, and will result in a more rapid decrease of the amount of gold represented by each Share and a corresponding decrease in its value.
The Trust is a passive investment vehicle. The Trust is not actively managed and will be affected by a general decline in gold.
The Trustee does not actively manage the gold held by the Trust. This means that the Trustee does not sell gold at times when its price is high, or acquire gold at low prices in the expectation of future price increases. It also means that the Trustee does not make use of any of the hedging techniques available to professional gold investors to attempt to reduce the risks of losses resulting from price decreases. Any losses sustained by the Trust will adversely affect the value of your Shares.
The price received upon the sale of Shares may be less than the value of the gold represented by them.
The result obtained by subtracting the Trust’s expenses and liabilities on any day from the price of the gold owned by the Trust on that day is the net asset value of the Trust which, when divided by the number of Shares outstanding on that day, results in the NAV.
Shares may trade at, above or below their NAV. The NAV will fluctuate with changes in the market value of the Trust’s assets. The trading prices of Shares will fluctuate in accordance with changes in their NAVs as well as market supply and demand. The amount of the discount or premium in the trading price relative to the NAV may be influenced by non-concurrent trading hours between the major gold markets and NYSE Arca. While the Shares will trade on NYSE Arca until 4:00 p.m. (New York time), liquidity in the market for gold will be reduced after the close of the major world gold markets, including London, Zurich and the Commodity Exchange, Inc. (“COMEX”) in Chicago. As a result, during this time, trading spreads, and the resulting premium or discount on Shares, may widen.
The costs inherent in buying or selling the Shares may detract significantly from investment results.
Buying or selling the Shares on an exchange involves two types of costs that apply to all securities transactions effectuated on an exchange. When buying or selling Shares through a broker or other intermediary, you will likely incur a brokerage commission or other charges imposed by that broker or intermediary. In addition, you may incur the cost of the “spread,” that is, the difference between what investors or market makers are willing to pay for the Shares (the “bid” price) and the price at which they are willing to sell the Shares (the “ask” price). Because of the costs inherent in buying or selling the Shares, frequent trading may detract significantly from investment results and an investment in the Shares may not be advisable for investors who anticipate regularly making small investments.
An investment in the Shares may be adversely affected by competition from other methods of investing in gold.
The Trust competes with other financial vehicles, including traditional debt and equity securities issued by companies in the gold industry and other securities backed by or linked to gold (including exchange-traded products), direct investments in gold and investment vehicles similar to the Trust. Market and financial conditions, and other conditions beyond the Sponsor’s control, may make it more attractive to invest in other financial vehicles or to invest in gold directly, which could limit the market for the Shares and reduce the liquidity of the Shares.
The liquidation of the Trust may occur at a time when the disposition of the Trust
s gold will result in losses to investors in Shares.
The Trust will have a limited duration. If certain events occur, at any time, the Trustee will have to terminate the Trust. Otherwise, the Trust will terminate automatically on January 19, 2045. See “Description of the Shares and the Trust Agreement—Amendment and Termination” for more information about the termination of the Trust, including when events outside the control of the Sponsor, the Trustee or the Shareholders may prompt the Trust’s termination.
Upon termination of the Trust, the Trustee will sell gold in the amount necessary to cover all expenses of liquidation, and to pay any outstanding liabilities of the Trust. The remaining gold will be distributed among investors surrendering Shares. Any gold remaining in the possession of the Trustee after 90 days may be sold by the Trustee and the proceeds of the sale will be held by the Trustee until claimed by any remaining holders of Shares. Sales of gold in connection with the liquidation of the Trust at a time of low prices will likely result in losses, or adversely affect your gains, on your investment in Shares.
The liquidity of the Shares may also be affected by the withdrawal from participation of Authorized Participants.
In the event that one or more Authorized Participants that have substantial interests in Shares withdraw from participation, the liquidity of the Shares will likely decrease, which could adversely affect the market price of the Shares and result in your incurring a loss on your investment in Shares.
There may be situations where an Authorized Participant is unable to redeem a Basket. To the extent the value of gold decreases, these delays may result in a decrease in the value of the gold the Authorized Participant will receive when the redemption occurs, as well as a reduction in liquidity for all Shareholders in the secondary market.
Although Shares surrendered by Authorized Participants in Basket-size aggregations are redeemable in exchange for the underlying amount of gold, redemptions may be suspended during any period while regular trading on NYSE Arca is suspended or restricted, or in which an emergency exists that makes it reasonably impracticable to deliver, dispose of, or evaluate gold. If any of these events occurs at a time when an Authorized Participant intends to redeem Shares, and the price of gold decreases before such Authorized Participant is able again to surrender Baskets for redemption, such Authorized Participant will sustain a loss with respect to the amount that it would have been able to obtain in exchange for the gold received from the Trust upon the redemption of its Shares, had the redemption taken place when such Authorized Participant originally intended it to occur. As a consequence, Authorized Participants may reduce their trading in Shares during periods of suspension, decreasing the number of potential buyers of Shares in the secondary market and, therefore, decreasing the price a Shareholder may receive upon sale.
Authorized Participants with large holdings may choose to terminate the Trust.
Holders of 75% of the Shares have the power to terminate the Trust. This power may be exercised by a relatively small number of holders. If it is so exercised, investors who wished to continue to invest in gold through the vehicle of the Trust will have to find another vehicle, and may not be able to find another vehicle that offers the same features as the Trust.
The lack of an active trading market for the Shares may result in losses on your investment at the time of disposition of your Shares.
Although Shares are listed for trading on NYSE Arca, you should not assume that an active trading market for the Shares will be maintained. If you need to sell your Shares at a time when no active market for them exists, such lack of an active market will most likely adversely affect the price you receive for your Shares (assuming you are able to sell them).
If the process of creation and redemption of Baskets encounters any unanticipated difficulties, the possibility for arbitrage transactions by Authorized Participants intended to keep the price of the Shares closely linked to the price of gold may not exist and, as a result, the price of the Shares may fall or otherwise diverge from NAV.
If the processes of creation and redemption of Shares (which depend on timely transfers of gold to and by the Custodian) encounter any unanticipated difficulties, potential market participants, such as the Authorized Participants and their customers, who would otherwise be willing to purchase or redeem Baskets to take advantage of any arbitrage opportunity arising from discrepancies between the price of the Shares and the price of the underlying gold may not take the risk that, as a result of those difficulties, they may not be able to realize the profit they expect. If this is the case, the liquidity of the Shares may decline and the price of the Shares may fluctuate independently of the price of gold and may fall or otherwise diverge from NAV. Furthermore, in the event that the London market for physical gold should become relatively illiquid and thereby materially restrict opportunities for arbitraging by delivering gold in return for Baskets, the price of Shares may diverge from the value of physical gold.
As an owner of Shares, you will not have the rights normally associated with ownership of other types of shares.
Shares are not entitled to the same rights as shares issued by a corporation. By acquiring Shares, you are not acquiring the right to elect directors, to receive dividends, to vote on certain matters regarding the issuer of your Shares or to take other actions normally associated with the ownership of shares.
As an owner of Shares, you will not have the protections normally associated with ownership of shares in an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act, or the protections afforded by the CEA.
The Trust is not registered as an investment company and is not required to be registered under the Investment Company Act. Consequently, the owners of Shares do not have the protections under the Investment Company Act provided to investors in registered investment companies. For example, the provisions of the Investment Company Act that limit transactions with affiliates, prohibit the suspension of redemptions (except under certain limited circumstances) or limit sales loads, among others, do not apply to the Trust.
The Trust does not hold or trade in commodity futures contracts or any other instruments regulated by the CEA, as administered by the CFTC. Furthermore, the Trust is not a commodity pool for purposes of the CEA. Consequently, the Trustee and the Sponsor are not subject to registration as commodity pool operators with respect to the Trust. The owners of Shares do not receive the CEA disclosure document and certified annual report required to be delivered by the registered commodity pool operator with respect to a commodity pool, and the owners of Shares do not have the regulatory protections provided to investors in commodity pools operated by registered commodity pool operators.
The value of the Shares will be adversely affected if the Trust is required to indemnify the Sponsor or the Custodian as contemplated in the Trust Agreement and the Custodian Agreement.
Under the Trust Agreement, the Sponsor has a right to be indemnified from the Trust for any liability or expense it incurs without negligence, bad faith or willful misconduct on its part. Similarly, the Custodian Agreement provides for indemnification of the Custodian by the Trust under certain circumstances. This means that it may be necessary to sell assets of the Trust in order to cover losses or liability suffered by the Sponsor or the Custodian. Any sale of that kind would reduce the net asset value of the Trust and the value of the Shares.
Risks Related to the Trust and Its Operations
The Trust is exposed to various operational risks.
The Trust is exposed to various operational risks, including human error, information technology failures and failure to comply with formal procedures intended to mitigate these risks, and is particularly dependent on electronic means of communicating, record-keeping and otherwise conducting business. In addition, the Trust generally exculpates, and in some cases indemnifies, its service providers and agents with respect to losses arising from unforeseen circumstances and events, which may include the interruption, suspension or restriction of trading on or the closure of NYSE Arca, power or other mechanical or technological failures or interruptions, computer viruses, communications disruptions, work stoppages, natural disasters, fire, war, terrorism, riots, rebellions or other circumstances beyond the control of the Trust or its service providers and agents. Accordingly, the Trust generally bears the risk of loss with respect to these unforeseen circumstances and events to the extent relating to the Trust or the Shares, which may limit or prevent the Trust from generating returns corresponding to those of the Index or otherwise expose it to loss.
Although it is generally expected that the Trust’s direct service providers and agents will have disaster recovery or similar programs or safeguards in place to mitigate the effect of such unforeseen circumstances and events, there can be no assurance that these safeguards are in place for all parties whose activities may affect the performance of the Trust, or that these safeguards, even if implemented, will be successful in preventing losses associated with such unforeseen circumstances and events. Nor can there be any assurance that the systems and applications on which the Trust relies will continue to operate as intended. In addition to potentially causing performance failures at, or direct losses to, the Trust, any such unforeseen circumstances and events or operational failures may further distract the service providers, agents or personnel on which the Trust relies, reducing their ability to conduct the activities on which the Trust is dependent. These risks cannot be fully mitigated or prevented, and further efforts or expenditures to do so may not be cost-effective, whether due to reduced benefits from implementing additional or redundant safeguards or due to increases in associated maintenance requirements and other expenses that may make it more costly for the Trust to operate in more typical circumstances.
The Trust may be negatively impacted by the effects of the spread of illnesses or other public health emergencies on the global economy and the markets and service providers relevant to the performance of the Trust.
An outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and has now been spread globally. This outbreak has resulted in travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines, event cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer demand, layoffs, defaults and other significant economic impacts, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The impact of this outbreak has adversely affected the economies of many nations and the entire global economy and may impact individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. Other infectious illness outbreaks that may arise in the future could have similar impacts. Public health crises caused by the outbreak may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally.
The COVID-19 outbreak will have serious negative effects on social, economic and financial systems, including significant uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets. For instance, the suspension of operations of mines, refineries and vaults that extract, produce or store gold, restrictions on travel that delay or prevent the transportation of gold, and an increase in demand for gold may disrupt supply chains for gold, which could cause secondary market spreads to widen and compromise our ability to settle transactions on time. Any inability of the Trust to issue or redeem Shares or the Custodian or any sub-custodian to receive or deliver gold as a result of the outbreak will negatively affect the Trust's operations.
The duration of the outbreak and its effects cannot be determined with certainty. A prolonged outbreak could result in an increase of the costs of the Trust, affect liquidity in the market for gold as well as the correlation between the price of the Shares and the net asset value of the Trust, any of which could adversely affect the value of your Shares. In addition, the outbreak could also impair the information technology and other operational systems upon which the Trust’s service providers, including the Sponsor, the Trustee and the Custodian, rely, and could otherwise disrupt the ability of employees of the Trust’s service providers to perform essential tasks on behalf of the Trust. Governmental and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world have in the past responded to major economic disruptions with a variety of fiscal and monetary policy changes, including, but not limited to, direct capital infusions into companies, new monetary programs and lower interest rates. An unexpected or quick reversal of these policies, or the ineffectiveness of these policies, is likely to increase volatility in the market for gold, which could adversely affect the price of the Shares.
Further, the outbreak could interfere with or prevent the operation of the electronic auction hosted by IBA to determine the LBMA Gold Price, which the Trustee uses to value the gold held by the Trust and calculate the net asset value of the Trust. The outbreak could also cause the closure of futures exchanges, which could eliminate the ability of Authorized Participants to hedge purchases of Baskets, increasing trading costs of Shares and resulting in a sustained premium or discount in the Shares. Each of these outcomes would negatively impact the Trust.
The Trust relies on the information and technology systems of the Custodian, the Trustee and, to a lesser degree, the Sponsor, which could be adversely affected by information systems interruptions, cybersecurity attacks or other disruptions which could have a material adverse effect on our record keeping and operations.
The Custodian, the Trustee and, to a lesser degree, the Sponsor, depend upon information technology infrastructure, including network, hardware and software systems to conduct their business as it relates to the Trust. A cybersecurity incident, or a failure to protect their computer systems, networks and information against cybersecurity threats, could result in loss or unintended disclosure of information or loss or theft of the Trust assets, and could adversely impact the ability of the Trust’s service providers to conduct their business, including their business on behalf of the Trust. Despite implementation of network and other cybersecurity measures, these security measures may not be adequate to protect against all cybersecurity threats.
The Sponsor and its affiliates manage other accounts, funds or trusts, including those that invest in physical gold bullion or other precious metals, and conflicts of interest may occur, which may reduce the value of the net assets of the Trust, the NAV and the trading price of the Shares.
The Sponsor or its affiliates and associates currently engage in, and may in the future engage, in the promotion, management or investment management of other accounts, funds or trusts that invest primarily in physical gold bullion or other precious metals. Although officers and professional staff of the Sponsor’s management intend to devote as much time to the Trust as is deemed appropriate to perform their duties, the Sponsor’s management may allocate their time and services among the Trust and the other accounts, funds or trusts. The Sponsor will provide any such services to the Trust on terms not less favorable to the Trust than would be available from a non-affiliated party.
The Sponsor and the Trustee may agree to amend the Trust Agreement without the consent of the Shareholders.
The Sponsor and the Trustee may agree to amend the Trust Agreement, including to increase the Sponsor’s Fee, without Shareholder consent. The Sponsor shall determine the contents and manner of delivery of any notice of any Trust Agreement amendment. If an amendment imposes new fees and charges or increases existing fees or charges, including the Sponsor’s Fee (except for taxes and other governmental charges, registration fees or other such expenses), or prejudices a substantial right of Shareholders, it will become effective for outstanding Shares 30 days after notice of such amendment is given to registered owners. Shareholders that are not registered owners (which most shareholders will not be) may not receive specific notice of a fee increase other than through an amendment to the prospectus. Moreover, at the time an amendment becomes effective, by continuing to hold Shares, Shareholders are deemed to agree to the amendment and to be bound by the Trust Agreement as amended without specific agreement to such increase (other than through the “negative consent” procedure described above).
Risks Related to the Custody of Gold
The gold bullion custody operations of the Custodian are not subject to specific governmental regulatory supervision.
The Custodian is responsible for the safekeeping of the Trust’s gold bullion and also facilitates the transfer of gold bullion into and out of the Trust. Although the Custodian is a market maker, clearer and approved weigher under the rules of the LBMA (which sets out good practices for participants in the bullion market), the LBMA is not an official or governmental regulatory
The above information was disclosed in a filing to the SEC. To see the filing, click here.
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