The Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (REMX) , which has turned in a decent showing this year gaining almost 7% over the past six months, could see more near-term upside thanks to some positive news from one of the rare earths sector’s marquee names.
Shares of Molycorp (MCP), once the largest U.S. producer of rare earths metals, surged 13% in Wednesday’s after-hours session after the company said it landed $400 million in financing from alternative assets manager Oaktree Capital Management.
To highlight just how important $400 million is to Molycorp, that sum represents about 80% of the company’s market value at Wednesday’s close.
“ The company said the funding from Oaktree will be available through credit facilities and the sale and leaseback of certain equipment at Mountain Pass. Molycorp will get $250 million at the close of the financing, with the remaining $150 million available until April 30, 2016 if the company satisfies certain financial and operational conditions,” Reuters reported.
Molycorp is the seventeenth-largest holding in REMX at a weight of 3.36%. That weight is the result of a dramatic tumble for the stock. Forty months ago, Molycorp traded over $74. Just two years ago, the stock was about 7% of REMX’s weight. [Molycorp Could Lift Rare Earths ETF]
Although demand for smartphones, tablets and electric cars, which are among the primary end markets for rare earths, remains robust, REMX and rare earths stocks have had difficulty recapturing lost magic.
China, which controls 90% or more of the global rare earths market, is mulling new taxes and restrictions on the production of those metals in an effort to curb pollution. Those restrictions could boost rare earths prices and REMX in the second half of this year.
REMX tracks miners, refiners, recyclers and producers of rare earth/strategic metals. Chinese companies make up 19.3% of the ETF’s overall portfolio, along with the U.S. 18.5%, Australia 13.5%, Japan 8.5% and Canada 8.6%.
Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.
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