Global Palladium Fund (GPF), which was founded in 2016 by Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN) – a nickel and palladium mining and smelting company based in Northern Russia – has announced the launch of a “competitively priced physically backed metal” ETC (exchange-traded commodity) range on the London Stock Exchange.

The ETCs are set to have the lowest charges in the European marketplace, with total expense ratios (TER) ranging from 0.145% to 0.20%. The range was launched earlier this week when issuer Ridgex listed them on Deutsche Börse on Monday. Further listings in Europe will be announced “in due course”.

GPF will track the spot prices of the four metals – gold, silver, platinum and palladium – and is expected to add additional copper and nickel ETCs to the range, which is targeted at “family offices, wealth managers, institutional and other professional investors”.

NTree International Ltd – a specialist in marketing, distribution and investor engagement – has been called in by GPF to lead the distribution and rollout of the products. The firm has set up a dedicated brand, Metal.Digital, as an “education resource” for professional investors seeking to focus their portfolios on metals.

According to GPF’s press release, the ETCs have “a strong focus on ESG”, backed by “LBMA-approved metal […] sourced from producers and suppliers who support the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda and other global initiatives in sustainable development and responsible mining”.

However, the Financial Times described GPF’s parent company Norilsk Nickel as “one of the mining industry’s most serious polluters”, with a track record as one of the worst sulphur dioxide emitters globally. The firm is currently disputing a record $2.1bn fine from the Russian government after an enormous fuel spill “turned two rivers in Siberia crimson”.

Anton Berlin, Vice President of Sales and Distribution at Norilsk Nickel, commented on the launch:

“Investor demand for metals will increase as economies step-up their energy transition and focus more on meeting the challenge of global climate change. Also, as a mining company, providing access to metals to a broader range of market participants helps improve market liquidity and price discovery”.

Timothy Harvey, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of NTree, added:

“Global Palladium Fund’s new ETCs provide exposure to the spot price of precious metals, with some of the lowest charges in Europe. We are excited to have helped design and manage such an innovative investor proposition and to continue working with GPF on the promotion of their ETC programme.

“We see growing investor appetite for commodities that will be driven by the cyclical recovery out of the pandemic and, perhaps more importantly, by the push towards a net zero carbon economy”.