December 17, 2014 / 6:23 PM / 5 years ago

Canadian miner Sherritt's shares soar as U.S. shifts Cuba policy

(Reuters) - Shares of Canadian miner Sherritt International Corp, a major investor in Cuba, jumped as much as 36 percent on Wednesday as the United States moved to normalize relations with the communist Caribbean nation.

Sherritt is the largest independent energy company in Cuba and operates the Moa nickel mine in the eastern part of the island.

President Barack Obama said in a speech the new policy will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. He said he would also talk to members of the U.S. Congress about lifting the U.S. embargo on the country.

“Opening banking and diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S. could lift a layer of uncertainty off Sherritt’s operations in that country,” TD Securities analyst Greg Barnes said in a note to clients.

Some of Sherritt’s officers and directors have been barred from the United States because of the Helms-Burton Act, which sanctions companies that trade with Cuba.

Barnes estimates that Sherritt’s Cuban operations represented about 60 percent of the company’s net asset value.

Sherritt shares were up 22 percent at C$2.77 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.

Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Joyjeet Das

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