Uranium ETFs enjoy blistering start to 2012

Feb 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Commodities

The Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE: URA) – the first ETF to track companies involved in uranium mining – is up more than 20 per cent this year after collapsing more than 50 per cent in 2011 when a Japanese earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

Uranium ETFs enjoy blistering start to 2012

Uranium ETFs enjoy blistering start to 2012, with Global X Uranium ETF up over 20%.

Other uranium and nuclear-oriented funds, such as the iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index ETF, the ETFX WNA Global Nuclear Energy ETF, the Market Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF and the PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy ETF, have put in similarly strong performances.

This year’s rally can largely be attributed to the Canadian government recently reaching an agreement with China to facilitate uranium exports as part of efforts to deepen ties between the two nations.

The pact will give Canadian uranium producers – who make up 57% of Global X Uranium ETF’s holdings – more access to China’s civilian nuclear power industry, according to a statement released by the Canadian prime minister’s office. The strategic partnership is touted to be worth as much as $3 billion.

“This agreement will help Canadian uranium companies to substantially increase exports to China, the world’s fastest growing market for these products,” Prime Minister Harper said in the statement. As part of the pact with Canada, China agreed to use any imported uranium only for peaceful civilian purposes.

FEATURED PRODUCT

ETFX WNA Global Nuclear Energy ETF (NUKE)

– Diversified exposure to 65 global companies
engaged in the nuclear energy industry

– Physical replication

– UCITS compliant, LSE-listed, UK Reporting
Status, eligible for ISAs and SIPPs

– TER of 0.85%, reasonable for such a highly
targeted specialist fund

China is seeking to secure uranium supplies as it builds additional reactors, Bloomberg reports. There are presently 434 operable reactors around the world and 61 under construction, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). The WNA states that China is building 26 reactors, plans to construct another 51 and has proposed 120 others.

The world’s largest uranium producer, Canadian-based Cameco, appears poised to benefit from China’s nuclear agreement. The company’s Chief Executive Tim Gitzel said the agreement will allow the company to move ahead with supply agreements signed in 2010 to sell about 52 million pounds of uranium for Chinese reactors, deals worth as much as $3 billion. Cameco represents 19.6% of URA’s holdings.

For investors looking to gain exposure to uranium or the wider nuclear industry, there are a number of ETFs to choose from:

ETFX WNA Global Nuclear Energy ETF
The WNA Nuclear Energy ETF is designed to track the performance of approximately 65 companies engaged in the nuclear energy industry with representation across reactors, utilities, construction, technology, equipment, service providers and fuels. (LON: NUKE, TER: 0.65%)

db Uranium ETC
The db Uranium ETC tracks the Uranium Index (TradeTech U3O8 Weekly Spot Price Indicator) and offers the most direct exposure to the underlying uranium price. The index is determined by TradeTech, based on their judgement of the price at which spot and near-term transactions for significant quantities of natural uranium concentrates can be concluded as of the end of each Friday. Unlike other commodity indices in the market, the Uranium Index is not calculated with reference to a specific calculation methodology. The level of the Uranium Index is based on data from recently completed transactions, data from pending transactions, firm bids to buy or borrow, firm offers to sell or lend and other factors. (LON: XURA, TER: 3.60%)

Global X Uranium ETF
The Global X Uranium ETF is designed to reflect the performance of the uranium mining industry. It is comprised of selected companies globally that are primarily engaged in some aspect of the uranium mining industry, such as mining, refining, exploration, and manufacturing of equipment for the uranium industry. (NYSE: URA, TER: 0.69%)

Market Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF
The Market Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF seeks to track the movements of securities of companies engaged in the nuclear energy industry that are traded on leading global exchanges. (NYSE: NLR, TER: 0.57%)

iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index ETF
The iShares S&P Global Nuclear Energy Index ETF seeks to track approximately 24 of the largest publicly-traded companies in the global nuclear energy business from developed or emerging markets. The constituents are equally distributed between the nuclear materials, equipment and services and nuclear energy generation industries and the Fund is concentrated in those industries. (NASDAQ: NUCL, TER: 0.48%)

PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy ETF
The PowerShares Global Nuclear Energy ETF is designed to track the overall performance of globally traded companies which are engaged in the nuclear energy industry with representation across reactors, utilities, construction, technology, equipment, service providers and fuels. (NYSE: PKN, TER: 0.75%)

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