The S&P/ASX All Technology Index (All Tech Index), started in partnership with S&P Dow Jones Indices started trading on Monday under the code XTX.
The new index holds ASX-listed companies in the technology sector, starting with 46 members holding a combined market cap of around $104 billion.
At the top of its constituents are accounting software provider Xero, share transfer company Computershare and buy now pay later giant Afterpay. Superannuation fund service provider Link Administration was also listed in the top 10.
Minister for industry, science and technology Ms Andrews rang the ASX bell at the launch of the index.
She noted the index also complements the growing number of venture funds in Australia and strong levels of venture capital, providing an alternate source of finance for new and expanding tech firms.
“We also know that Australia has a strong pipeline of smaller tech companies considering how and where to raise capital,” senator Andrews said.
“The index creates an opportunity for them to access later stage capital, raise their profile and fuel their growth.”
The index provides early entry to ASX-listed technology companies, with the floated adjusted minimum market capitalisation being $120 million, a few hundred million lower than the current qualifying value for the S&P/ASX 300.
It also does not have a set number of constituents; its makeup can change at each quarterly rebalance.
Currently on the ASX, there are more than 200 listed technology firms valued at almost $115 billion.
ASX chief executive and managing director Dominic Stevens said the index will enhance the profile and understanding of listed technology companies in Australia and increase opportunities for investors.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the number of technology companies listing on the ASX and the quality of their performance recently,” Mr Stevens said.
“Over the last three years, the annualised total return from the S&P/ASX 200 has been around 10 per cent, while the return from the new All Tech Index over the same period – it had existed – would have been over 20 per cent.
“The All Tech Index recognises the critical mass of technology companies listed on the ASX. It provides investors with an opportunity to see how the sector is tracking and gives them a benchmark to measure its performance.”
Mr Stevens added a vibrant technology sector is good for Australia.
“It helps drive economic growth, strengthens the relevance of our capital markets and encourages job creation and innovation onshore,” he said.
Max Cunningham, executive general manager, listings and issuer services, ASX commented he expects more foreign listings to come, adding one of the most important factors attracting overseas firms to the ASX is the local superannuation system.
“Given recent listings that we had in December and a very healthy pipeline for 2020, that part of the cohort is likely to rise,” Mr Cunningham said.
“Our superannuation pool is now touching US$2 trillion and has forecasted growth to $10 trillion by the middle of the next decade. That currently makes us the fourth-largest investable, pension pool in the world.
“And if demographics stay the way they are by mid-decade, we should be number two in the world for investable, pension funds globally, not per capita, mind you, but by total absolute dollar value.”
At launch, the index has three New Zealand companies, two from the US and one Irish company.
Ms Andrews added: “As Australia continues to demonstrate that we are strong and safe market investing, we attract even greater global interests.”
“Foreign technology companies from the US, Ireland, Israel and of course New Zealand have listed on the index. These companies’ open offices in Australia, they create new opportunities for growth and they create new jobs right here.”
BetaShares is the first provider set to roll out an ETF tracking the index, with its launch to come in the next week and a half.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
Sarah has a dual bachelor's degree in science and journalism from the University of Queensland.