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SPDR Gold ETF Becomes the Largest ETF in the World

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 | 1:22 PM ET

With gold prices nearing $1,900and more assets flowing in, the SPDR Gold ETF has become the largest ETF in the world, surpassing the heavily-traded S&P 500 SPDR.

The SPDR Gold ETF passed the S&P 500 SPDR for the first time on Friday. It remained #1 as of yesterday’s close with $77.5 billion in assets, about $1 billion more than the S&P 500 SPDR, according to State Street Global Advisors, the marketer of the 2 ETFs.

That move is not just a result of particularly strong inflows into the SPDR Gold ETF; it also reflects the noticeably big outflows from the S&P 500 SPDR amid ongoing jitters in Europe, the recent S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, and concerns of slowing economic global growth.

According to IndexUniverse.com, as of Friday’s close, SPDR Gold ETF has accumulated $1.5 billion in inflows so far this month, while $7 billion has spewed out of the S&P SPDR ETF in August. Meanwhile, gold prices have soared 16% and the S&P 500 has tumbled nearly 12% this month.

How much of a behemoth has the SPDR Gold ETF become? With its current $77.5 billion in assets under management, SPDR Gold ETF currently makes up nearly 60% of all commodity ETF assets.

If it were a stock, the ETF would be the 27th largest stock in the S&P 500—bigger than Citigroup, Bank of America, United Technologies, Walt Disney, 3M, Goldman Sachs, Caterpillar, and of course many more notable large cap stocks.

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Still Bigger Than the GLD:

Biggest S&P 500 Stocks by Market Cap

1. ExxonMobil $341 billion

2. Apple $330 billion

3. Microsoft $201 billion

4. IBM $190 billion

5. Chevron $187 billion

6. Wal-Mart $181 billion

7. Johnson & Johnson $173 billion

8. Procter & Gamble $170 billion

9. AT&T $169 billion

10. Google $161 billion

11. General Electric $160 billion

12. Coca-Cola $154 billion

13. Pfizer $138 billion

14. JPMorgan Chase $130 billion

15. Oracle $127 billion

16. Wells Fargo $121 billion

17. Philip Morris Int’l. $121 billion

18. Intel $102 billion

19. Verizon $99 billion

20. Pepsi $98 billion

21. Schlumberger $98 billion

22. Merck $96 billion

23. McDonald's $91 billion

24. ConocoPhillips $87 billion

25. Cisco Systems $83 billion

26. Amazon.com $81 billion

World’s Biggest Holders of Gold

Additionally, backed by 1,284 tonnes of gold, the SPDR Gold ETF continues to be the 6th largest holder of gold in the world, holding more gold than Chinese, Swiss, Russian, and Japanese governments.

World’s Biggest Holders of Gold

1. United States 8,134 tonnes

2. Germany 3,401 tonnes

3. IMF 2,814 tonnes

4. Italy 2,452 tonnes

5. France 2,435 tonnes

6. SPDR Gold 1,284 tonnes

7. China 1,054 tonnes

8. Switzerland 1,040 tonnes

9. Russia 837 tonnes

10. Japan 765 tonnes

Sources: World Gold Council & State Street Global Advisors

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