* Regulator sets final deadline of Feb. 22 for ruling
* Delay comes a week after SEC gave green light to JPM
* Fabricators fear ETF would inflate prices, disrupt supply
Dec 24 U.S. regulators have delayed by two
months a ruling on BlackRock Inc's controversial plan to
launch a copper exchange-traded fund backed by physical metal a
week after giving the go-ahead to a similar product proposed by
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission set a new and
final deadline of Feb. 22 to rule on the fund. It said it needed
more time to consider the issues surrounding the iShares Copper
Trust, which along with JPM's fund has ignited fears among
copper fabricators about their impact on prices and supplies.
The postponement comes just a week after the SEC gave the
green light to JPM's fund, saying it did not believe it would
disrupt the availability of metal.
That decision was seen as a benchmark for BlackRock's
product. The SEC followed a similar path with JPM, waiting to
rule until the final deadline in order to investigate claims by
copper fabricators that by hoarding over 180,000 tonnes of
copper off the market, the funds would inflate prices and
The end users say the removal of up to 183,000 tonnes of
copper, which would be used as collateral against shares in the
funds, would have a "devastating" effect on the market.
BlackRock's proposed fund is double the size of JPMorgan's.
JPMorgan's fund would store LME brand-approved copper valued
at up to $499,761,150 - equivalent to about 62,000 tonnes based
on a copper price of $8,000 per tonne. BlackRock's iShares
Copper Trust would use up to 121,200 tonnes of copper as
guarantee against shares in its fund.