Explainer: Should you invest in silver ETFs?

Explainer: Should you invest in silver ETFs?
  • Indians hold the third largest physical silver investment in the world.
  • The industry earned ₹1,400 crore in assets from silver ETFs till July 2022.
  • Silver is used as an inflation hedge because of its industrial usage in solar panels, electric vehicles and electronics.
  • India is among the top 20 producers of silver globally.
Due to the rising need for green energy, the use of cellphones alongside increasing adoption of electric vehicles, one commodity is going to be in great demand, and that’s silver. Unlike gold, the price of silver is driven by the demand for the precious metal. Gold is typically considered to be a hedge against inflation and a safe haven.

So with demand for silver rising, several asset management companies are launching Silver exchange traded funds. For instance, an average cell phone contains 0.3 grams of silver and an electric vehicle needs 25-30 grams of silver during production. An average solar panel needs 20 grams of silver. The metal is also used in electronics, brazing, jewellery and tableware to list a few. This increased utility combined with rarity, durability has made it an investor’s choice.

After the US and Germany, India ranks third in terms of largest physical silver investment holdings. It is also amongst the top 20 silver producing countries. This has prompted leading asset managers of the country to launch an investment tool — silver ETFs.

Why consider Silver ETF?

The value of a metal, whether it be gold, silver, diamond or platinum is determined by its purity, which is difficult to achieve. Hence investors are cashing in on the opportunity without holdings by investing in ETFs.


Last year, five big mutual funds in India, ICICI Prudential AMC, Nippon India AMC, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC, DSP Mutual Fund, and HDFC AMC, announced their plans to launch silver ETFs.

In January 2021, ICICI Prudential AMC launched India's first silver ETF scheme, which is the first silver-based fund in India.

The funds have already collected ₹1,400 crore in assets from silver ETFs till July-end, according to data provided by Morningstar India this year.

Moreso, silver is becoming rarer. Silver mining has increased 5% last year from 2020, said an Edelweiss report. However, silver supplies dropped into a deficit since last year, and analysts predict another sizable deficit of 72 million ounces in 2022.

During bull markets, silver has soared much further and faster than gold due to high industrial demand. Therefore it is often a tactical play, claim investment experts.

How do you sign up for a silver ETF?

The sign up process for a silver ETF in India can be done through mutual fund managers, personal finance advisors and mutual fund platforms. The customer has to submit their KYC on the platform, along with Aadhar and PAN details. Both Aadhar and PAN should be linked.

Apps like Groww, Zerodha, Upstox and PayTM money can be used by tech savvy investors. For a more traditional approach, a mutual fund advisor or chartered accountant can be approached.

Reading up on the offerings of each mutual house ETF is essential as they differ in strategy and price. The fund managers of each mutual fund house are subject to change and it is important to keep a tab on their latest moves.

How costly is the silver ETF in India?

The range of the silver ETF varies according to the mutual fund house it belongs to. The silver-based ETFs got a green flag from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). A guideline for fund managers and investors was released by the regulatory agency on November 25 last year.

Here are the listed prices for top five silver ETFs in India.

TABLE: NAV Value August 2022 India’s Top Silver ETFs

Mutual Fund Silver ETFPrice
ICICI Prudential AMC Silver ETF₹55.84
Nippon India AMC Silver ETF₹54.6
Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Silver ETF₹55.9
DSP Mutual Fund Silver ETF₹54.6
HDFC AMC Silver ETF ₹53.9

Here is what you need to know about before investing

According to SEBI, “a Silver ETF scheme must invest at least 95 per cent of the net assets in silver and silver-related instruments. Physical silver must be of standard 30 kg-bars with 99.9 percent purity (999 parts per thousand) conforming to London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).”

The regulator has also asked the fund houses for physical verification of silver underlying the Silver ETF units.

Needless to say, all metals and their value is affected by macroeconomic conditions of the world and the stock market. Edelweiss Mutual Fund on August 24 this year launched India’s first silver-gold ETF, combining the inflationary power of gold and usability of silver. The scheme will invest in both metals and adjust the percentage as the performance of markets determine.

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