Van Eck, the money management firm known for its natural-resources strategies, plans share splits on five of the six exchange-traded HOLDRS securities it successfully turned into Market Vectors ETFs last month—a move it hopes will make the funds more accessible to investors by lowering share prices.
The splits are also designed in the anticipation that, by increasing the number of outstanding shares, the liquidity of the funds will increase and that, as a consequence, bid/ask spreads between what buyers are willing to pay and what sellers are willing to accept will tighten, New York-based Van Eck said in a press release.
The splits are on the following ETFs and are as follows:
- Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (NYSEArca:OIH - News), 3-for-1 split
- Market Vectors Biotech ETF (NYSEArca:BBH - News), 3-for-1 split
- Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEArca:RTH - News), 3-for-1 split
- Market Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (NYSEArca:PPH - News), 2-for-1 split
- Market Vectors Bank and Brokerage ETF (NYSEArca:RKH - News), 2-for-1 split
The share splits will be payable on Feb. 13 to shareholders of record as of close of business on Feb. 10, the company said in the release. The share splits won’t change the total outstanding value of the ETFs, Van Eck said.
The company noted that the sixth HOLDRS security that it successfully exchanged into the Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca:SMH - News) isn’t included in the share-split plan as its shares are now trading in the $30 range.
By comparison, OIH is currently trading at more than $125 per share; BBH is trading at more than $126; RTH is over $117 a share; PPH is at nearly $72 a share and RKH is at more than $79 a share.
Van Eck completed the HOLDRS-to-ETFs exchange offers on Dec. 20, and re-launched the securities as ETFs on the following day .
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