Why is the BHP (ASX:BHP) share price leaping ahead today?

BHP shares are defying the market today. We take a closer look.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has unfortunately slipped into negative territory so far this Thursday, after an initially strong market open. The ASX 200 is currently down by 1.53% and is sitting at 6,855 points at the time of writing. That performance is getting shown up by the BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP) share price in a big way.

Comprehensively defying the broader market, BHP shares are currently up a healthy 1.78% at $45.83 apiece after rising as high as $46.48 earlier in the trading day.

So how is BHP managing such a robust performance this Thursday?

Well, it’s not entirely clear. But it could have something to do with the ASX notice the company put out this morning before market open.

BHP shares up as unification now a virtual certainty

This notice confirmed that BHP shareholders have voted in favour of the company’s proposed ‘unification’ program on 20 January. This will result in BHP withdrawing its BHP Group plc (LON: BHP) dual-listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

That will leave its ASX listing as its primary global share market presence, as well as adding an extra few hundred billion or so to its ASX market capitalisation.

But the ASX release also revealed the UK Court has just issued a court order that sanctions the unification process. This effectively removes the last barrier to unification. The company now expects the process to be finalised at 9pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 28 January (8am on January 29 AEDT). That’s when “the UK Court Order is expected to be delivered to the UK Registrar of Companies”, according to BHP.

After that, BHP is expecting unification to be wholly wrapped up on 31 January. This is when holders of the BHP plc LSE-listed shares and BHP plc American Depository Receipts (ADRs) will have their shares and ADRs swapped for ASX-listed shares and ADRs at a one-for-one basis.

It’s very possible this news could be behind the strong BHP share price performance thus far today. This has been a long and complicated process for the company to go through. So no doubt many investors would be pleased it has gone off without a hitch.

In other news, my Fool colleague Tony recently interviewed a top ASX fund manager that named BHP shares as one of the investments to look at in the current investing environment.

At the current BHP share price, this ASX 200 mining giant has a trailing dividend yield of 8.8%.

Should you invest $1,000 in BHP right now?

Before you consider BHP, you'll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and BHP wasn't one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

*Returns as of January 13th 2022

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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