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South Korean ‘ant’ traders battle hedge funds in swarm on battery shares

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece here in The Financial Times or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: A massive surge has been witnessed in the stocks of South Korean battery materials producer, EcoPro, and its subsidiary, EcoPro BM
• This rally, led by retail investors nicknamed "ants", is reminiscent of the US "meme stock" trend craze: as small traders used platforms like Reddit to drum up support for previously unpopular stocks

🌎 Why it matters for the planet: The increasing value of battery material producers, such as EcoPro, even if not obtained through canonical methods, injects funds into an industry that is essential for the global transition towards electric vehicles and clean energy technologies

🔭 The context: Retail investors are banking on South Korean battery makers benefiting from a booming electric vehicle market and the US clean energy subsidies, despite warnings about an oversupply in the global cathode market
• Goldman Sachs warned last month that the global cathode market may be oversupplied over the next decade

⏭️ What’s next: Despite fluctuations, retail investors remain confident about EcoPro's future prospects and continue to invest, suggesting more turbulence in the market ahead

💬 One quote: "Retail investors are crazy about the shares so short sellers find it increasingly difficult to withstand their ballooning losses. Amateur traders are winning the battle against the short sellers." (An Hyung-jin, CEO of the Seoul-based hedge fund Billionfold Asset Management)

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