Financial Risk, Management and Objectives
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
Financial Risk Management And Objectives  
Financial Risk, Management and Objectives

6. Financial Risk, Management and Objectives

The Trusts’ objective in managing risk is the creation and protection of unitholder value. Risk is inherent in the Trusts’ activities, but it is managed through a process of ongoing identification, measurement and monitoring, subject to risk limits and other controls. The Trusts have investment guidelines that set out their overall business strategies, their tolerance for risk and their general risk management philosophy, as noted in each Trust’s offering documents. The Trusts’ Manager is responsible for identifying and controlling risks. The Trusts are exposed to market risk (which includes price risk, interest rate risk and currency risk), credit risk, liquidity risk and concentration risk arising from the bullion that they hold. Only certain risks of the Trusts are actively managed by the Manager, as the Trusts are passive investment vehicles. Significant risks that are relevant to the Trusts are discussed below. Refer to the Notes to financial statements — Trust specific information of each Trust for specific risk disclosures.

Price risk

Price risk arises from the possibility that changes in the market price of each Trust’s investments, which consist almost entirely of bullion, will result in changes in fair value of such investments.

Interest rate risk

Interest rate risk arises from the possibility that changes in interest rates will affect the value of financial instruments. The Trusts do not hedge their exposure to interest rate risk as that risk is minimal.

Currency risk

Currency risk arises from the possibility that changes in the price of foreign currencies will result in changes in carrying value. Each Trust’s assets, substantially all of which consist of an investment in bullion, are priced in U.S. dollars. Some of the Trusts’ expenses are payable in Canadian dollars. Therefore, the Trusts are exposed to currency risk, as the value of their assets and liabilities denominated in Canadian dollars will fluctuate due to changes in exchange rates. Most of such assets and liabilities, however, are short term in nature and are not significant in relation to the net assets of the Trusts, and, as such, exposure to foreign exchange risk is limited. The Trusts do not enter into currency hedging transactions.

Credit risk

Credit risk arises from the potential that counterparties will fail to satisfy their obligations as they come due. The Trusts primarily incur credit risk when entering into and settling bullion transactions. It is each Trust’s policy to only transact with reputable counterparties. The Manager closely monitors the creditworthiness of the Trusts’ counterparties, such as bullion dealers, by reviewing their financial statements when available, regulatory notices and press releases. The Trusts seek to minimize credit risk relating to unsettled transactions in bullion by only engaging in transactions with bullion dealers with high creditworthiness. The risk of default is considered minimal, as payment for bullion is only made against the receipt of the bullion by the custodian.

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is defined as the risk that the Trusts will encounter difficulty in meeting obligations associated with financial liabilities and redemptions. Liquidity risk arises because of the possibility that the Trusts could be required to pay their liabilities earlier than expected. The Trusts are also subject to redemptions for both cash and bullion on a regular basis. The Trusts manage their obligation to redeem units when required to do so and their overall liquidity risk by only allowing for redemptions monthly, which require 15-day advance notice to the Trusts. Each Trust’s liquidity risk is minimal, since their primary investment is physical bullion, which trades in a highly liquid market. All of the Trusts’ financial liabilities, including due to broker, accounts payable and management fees payable have maturities of less than three months.

Concentration risk

Each Trust’s risk is concentrated in the physical bullion of precious metals.