Bloomberg News

Andrew Hall’s Astenbeck Buys Uranium, Rare Earth Companies

November 16, 2011

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Andrew Hall, the former Citigroup Inc. energy trader who runs commodity funds through Astenbeck Capital Management LLC, bought shares in uranium and rare-earth mining companies in the third quarter, according to a regulatory filing today.

Astenbeck, based in Westport, Connecticut, purchased 41,856 shares of Toronto-based Avalon Rare Metals Inc., 21,000 shares of Montreal-based Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. and 17,139 shares of Rare Elements Resources Ltd. based in Vancouver, according to a Form 13F filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The combined value of the stakes at the end of September was $246,659.

The fund also purchased 39,383 shares in Uranium Energy Corp. based in Corpus Christi, Texas; 65,685 shares in Ur-Energy Inc., a uranium exploring company based in Littleton, Colorado; 39,383 shares in Uranerz Energy Corp. based in Caspar, Wyoming; and 26,445 of Lewisville, Texas-based Uranium Resources Inc., with a combined value at the end of September of $239,003, the filing showed.

Michael Young, an executive vice president at Astenbeck, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemically similar metallic elements such as lanthanum, cerium, neodymium and europium. The elements are used in radar, high-powered magnets, mini-hard drives in laptop computers, catalytic converters in vehicles, electric car batteries and wind turbines.

Equity Stake

Astenbeck’s U.S. equity holdings had a market value of $644 million as of the end of September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Managers must file the quarterly report when the market value of their holdings in U.S.-traded stocks, options and convertible bonds exceeds $100 million.

The firm’s Astenbeck Offshore Commodities Fund II raised $2.4 billion from investors as of June 2011, according to an SEC filing.

Astenbeck was formed in February 2010 by Hall, Phibro LLC’s former chief executive officer, and Occidental Petroleum Corp. Citigroup sold Phibro to Occidental in 2009 after the bank came under pressure from President Barack Obama’s administration to reduce a potential $100 million payout to Hall.

Occidental’s earnings from its midstream marketing segment, which includes Phibro, dropped to $77 million in the third quarter from $187 million in the second quarter, largely due Phibro’s losses, according to an Oct. 27 statement from the company.

--With assistance from Miles Weiss in Washington. Editors: Dan Stets, Charlotte Porter

To contact the reporter on this story: Asjylyn Loder in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at

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