Castro's Death Raises Funds Tied For Cuba's Fortune

By klaireaustria

Nov 29, 2016 06:00 AM EST

Statistically and as of press times, investors are betting on better economic ties between the U.S. and Cuba after the death of long-time Cuban leader Fidel Castro, pushing up shares of a fund with the ticker symbol CUBA that would benefit from a resumption of trade between the two countries.

The nearly 11% jump Monday of closed-end fund Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund (CUBA) comes despite tough talk from president-elect Donald Trump that suggests a continuation of the chilly relationship between the two countries.

The rally signals hope that Fidel Castro's death will pave the way for better U.S.-Cuba relations and create opportunity for U.S. companies.

On Dec. 17, 2014, President Obama announced the U.S. would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since the early 1960s, ease restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba and chip away at some U.S.-imposed economic sanctions. As a result,Carnival Corporation was able to launch its first cruise to Cuba and Starwood Hotelsbecame the first U.S. hotel brand to operate in Cuba.

The U.S. trade embargo to Cuba remains in force and would need to be rescinded by Congress. Trump, however, after Castro's death, has taken a hard line, calling Castro a "brutal dictator."

Despite persistent roadblocks to reviving economic opportunity in the island nation of 11 million, investors in search of a Cuban investment play found one in Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund. The fund, which doesn't invest in Cuban companies, owns stocks it believes are poised to benefit from economic, political and technological developments there. .

"We are in a new era, a new beginning," Thomas Herzfeld, chairman of Thomas Herzfeld Advisors and head of its Cuba Division told USA TODAY.  

 U.S. stocks in the Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund, as of June 30, include Spirit Airlines (SAVE), infrastructure giant MasTec (MTZ), cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCC),  , and air conditioning maker Watsco (WSO). But Herzfeld admits that additional progress is in Cuba's hands

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