SINGAPORE (Dec 11): Lithium, the core component of batteries found in smartphones and laptops, is almost ubiquitous in our technology-driven lives. The increasing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous cars is driving even greater demand for the metal. Thus, companies in this sector could present opportunities for investors.
The only exchange-traded fund in the market that tracks the whole lithium cycle, from mining and refining to battery production, is the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF. The index it tracks is provided by Germany-based Solactive and is listed on the NYSE Arca. According to its fund fact sheet (as at Sept 30), the index has gone up 4.36% on an annualised basis since its inception in 2010 and 51.34% year to date.
Jay Jacobs, vice-president and head of research at Global X Funds, says the ETF saw more than US$750 million ($1.01 billion) in net new assets this year, bringing its total assets under management to more than US$1 billion. “We have seen periods of inflows and interest in the fund since inception. But 2017 has been a banner year, ramping up over the last few months. This indicates that investor interest in the lithium story is really coming alive, particularly as the movement towards EVs reaches an inflection point,” he adds.