Virgin Galactic rockets up 16% after Tesla investor Ark reveals it will launch a space-themed ETF

Brendan McDermid/ReutersVirgin 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.
  • Virgin Galactic shares surged as much as 16% in premarket trading on Tuesday.
  • The space-tourism group may be added to Ark Investment Management’s planned Space Exploration ETF.
  • The fund manages a total of $US42 billion in ETF products, Bloomberg estimates.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Virgin Galactic stock soared as much as 16% in premarket trading on Thursday, after a major investment fund disclosed plans to launch a space-themed exchange-traded fund.

Investors in the commercial-spaceflight company — which counts billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson as its cofounder and billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya as its chairman — are betting it will be included in Ark Investment Management’s ARK Space Exploration ETF.


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Ark, led by founder and investment chief Cathie Wood, already runs seven ETFs focused on areas such as genomics, 3D printing, robotics, and financial technology. Its flagship Ark Innovation ETF counts Tesla as its largest holding.

Thanks to a massive influx of investor capital in recent months, Ark now oversees about $US42 billion in ETF products — a sharp increase from less than $US4 billion a year ago, according to Bloomberg’s estimates.


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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 hold between 40 and 55 stocks.

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