Tel Aviv stock exchange.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and BlueStar Indexes on Tuesday launched a “Start-up Nation Index” that will track Israeli tech companies listed both locally and internationally.
“TA -BIGITech is the first and only benchmark tracking a broad, deep and complete universe of major Israeli technology companies trading on markets worldwide,” BlueStar wrote in a press release. BIGITech stands for BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index.
“As you know, there aren’t that many Israeli tech stocks on the TASE ,” BlueStar Indexes founder and chief investment officer Steven Schoenfeld said. “They go public in London or New York, so this this index helps raise the visibility of tech stocks.”
“Start-up nation is one of the most powerful brands for Israel, so this is the Start-up Nation Index,” he said.
The hope for BlueStar is to draw greater attention to the diversity of Israel-based tech companies, which has been a challenge given the way Israeli companies spread out in a globalized marketplace, often listing on Nasdaq, the New York Stock Exchange or the London Stock Exchange.
The launch of the index is an opportunity to help Israeli investors, particularly large institutional investors, put money into in Israeli companies that are not listed in Tel Aviv.
“It’s long overdue,” Schoenfeld said.
“Israeli institutions, which have the biggest set of assets, are predominantly benchmarked to the TA -100. The biggest part of what the TA -100 is missing is tech.”
TASE CEO Yossi Beinart said the index’s launch was part of an active effort to encourage international investors to invest broadly in Israel.
“This new index is particularly important because it provides convenient access for global investors around the world to Israeli hi-tech companies trading on various exchanges,” he said, adding that he expects the exposure to help grow the entire market.
The index is currently composed of 57 companies, including CheckPoint, Amdocs, Stratasys, Nice, Mobileye and Mellanox, and has an aggregate market capitalization of $75 billion, about triple that of the TA -TechElite benchmark.
BlueStar, which launched its BIGITech exchange fund two years ago, said it will make some changes to its methodology in June as part of a deal negotiated with the TASE to make the fund more suitable for trading on the exchange. For example, the minimum market cap for companies will be lowered.