Van Eck Global, the New York-based ETF sponsor known for its expertise in commodities, added the word “uranium” to its nuclear energy fund, which began using the name Market Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF (NYSEArca: NLR) on Jan. 5. The company didn't change the ETF’s ticker symbol.
The name change is intended to alert investors to the fund’s exposure the uranium mining space, one of seven nuclear energy-related subsectors in NLR’s benchmark, the DAX Global Nuclear Energy Index, Van Eck said in a press release. Uranium mining, which accounted for 39 percent of NLR’s total market capitalization as of Dec. 31, 2010, is by far the largest of these subsectors.
With the possibility of $100-a-barrel oil again coming into focus, fund sponsors and investors alike are increasingly looking for exposure to the renewable energy sector. For example, Global X, the commodities and emerging markets boutique ETF firm, unveiled the first lithium-focused ETF in July and followed up with a uranium ETF in November 2010.
Indeed, Van Eck’s move may be a response Global X’s success. The Global X Uranium ETF (NYSEArca: URA) was an immediate hit with investors, attracting more than $144 million in assets under management by year’s end. That’s more than the $78.7 million NLR gathered in all of 2010, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse.com.
However, Van Eck’s NLR, which launched in August 2007, is still the biggest nuclear energy-related ETF, with $258.6 million in net assets as of Wednesday, Jan. 5. NLR has a net expense ratio of 0.62 percent. Global X’s URA is slightly pricier, at 0.69 percent.