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SQM Jumps in Chile as Credit Suisse Signals Tesla Boost

Soc. Quimica y Minera de Chile SA rose the most in five months as Credit Suisse Group AG said Tesla Motors Inc.’s plan to build a lithium-ion battery factory is positive for the world’s largest producer of the metal.

Shares of SQM climbed 9 percent to 16,894 pesos at the close in Santiago, the biggest increase since Sept. 9. The IPSA benchmark stock index increased 0.4 percent.

The lithium battery factory will be “transformational” for demand of the metal in the future and will elevate prices, Credit Suisse analyst Viccenzo Paternostro wrote today in a research note to clients. SQM, based in Santiago, also stands to gain from a recovery in potash fertilizer prices in Brazil because of an expansion in planted areas, he wrote.

Tesla, the luxury electric-car maker based in Palo Alto, California, announced yesterday it is selling at least $1.6 billion of convertible notes to finance a battery factory and is exploring locations in Texas, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico for a 10 million-square-foot facility.

SQM tumbled 51 percent in 2013 as the breakup of a venture between OAO Uralkali and its Belarusian partner pushed down fertilizer prices.

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