Virgin Galactic rockets 22% after Tesla investor Ark reveals it will launch a space-themed ETF

Virgin Galactic rockets 22% after Tesla investor Ark reveals it will launch a space-themed ETF
Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides, and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange ahead of Virgin Galactic trading on October 28, 2019.Brendan McDermid/Reuters
  • Virgin Galactic shares surged as much as 22% on Thursday.
  • The space-tourism group may be added to Ark Investment Management's planned space-exploration exchange-traded fund.
  • The fund manages a total of $42 billion in ETF products, Bloomberg estimated.
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Virgin Galactic stock soared as much as 22% on Thursday, boosting its market capitalization by about $1.4 billion, after a major investment fund disclosed plans to launch a space-themed exchange-traded fund.

Investors in the commercial-spaceflight company - whose cofounder is the billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and whose chairman is the billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya - are betting it will be included in Ark Investment Management's ARK Space Exploration ETF.

Ark, led by Cathie Wood, its founder and investment chief, already runs seven ETFs focused on areas such as genomics, 3D printing, robotics, and financial technology. Its flagship Ark Innovation ETF's largest holding is Tesla.
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Thanks to a massive influx of investor capital in recent months, Ark now oversees about $42 billion in ETF products, a sharp increase from less than $4 billion a year ago, Bloomberg estimated.

Wood and her team plan to actively manage their space ETF. They intend to invest in domestic and foreign companies engaged in space exploration and innovation and to hold 40 to 55 stocks.
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