Economy

ABN Amro out, Besi in: the AEX is becoming a real tech index

Adyen, ASMI, ASML, Just Eat Takeaway.com, Prosus: these are resounding names of tech companies that are listed in Amsterdam. On March 22, another tech company will be added: BE Semiconductor, or Besi for short.

That company supplies chip machines that chip manufacturers use to make chips. Besi is therefore in the same corner as ASML and ASMI.

Besi, together with lighting company Signify, takes the place of ABN Amro and Galapagos in the main index. The bank and the pharmaceutical company are relegated to the Midkap.

From ABN to Besi

This means that an icon of the old economy, ABN Amro, is being replaced by a company of the new economy.

The level of the AEX index is now determined for approximately 33 percent by tech companies. From March 22, when the new composition takes effect, it will probably drop slightly to almost 30 percent, according to Martijn Rozemuller, director of VanEck Europe.

VanEck makes ETFs, an investment product that tracks the stock index. That is why VanEck keeps a close eye on the composition of the index. The weighting of the various companies that determine the AEX still depends on the price development in the next week and a half.

Depending on sentiment around tech

With a weighting of about 30 percent, tech continues to weigh heavily within the AEX index. “If you want to know what the AEX is going to do, it is better to look at how technology index Nasdaq from the US did yesterday than how it went with the broad S&P 500,” said Stan Westerterp, owner of Bond Capital Partners.

The greater importance of tech does of course mean that the AEX is becoming more dependent on sentiment around tech shares.

Rapid advance of tech in AEX

Of the six tech companies that will soon determine the AEX (apart from Besi) ASMI and Takeaway.com (Just Eat was not yet acquired at the time) were the most recently added. That was exactly a year ago. They took the place of Aalberts and Vopak.

Prosus was added in December 2019, a few months after the IPO in September 2019. Adyen entered the AEX in March of that year.

Just three years ago, ASML was the only tech fund in the AEX.

‘Besi only weighs 0.5 percent’

ASML’s weighting will soon be around 13.5 percent, according to Rozemuller. Adyen follows with about 7.1 percent, Prosus with about 5.6 percent, Just Eat Takeaway.com with about 1.5 percent and ASMI with 1.4 percent.

Besi’s weight will be quite small at around 0.5 percent.

‘Weight of ASML is falling’

The reason that the weighting of tech shares within the AEX will soon fall slightly is almost entirely due to ASML, according to Rozemuller. A factor in this is that the weight of a company in the annual composition change can be a maximum of 15 percent. For ASML, this is still more than 17 percent.

ASML is by far the largest technology company listed on the stock exchange in Amsterdam. The market value is now approximately 186 billion euros. This makes it, together with Unilever and Shell, the top three of the Amsterdam listed companies. Unilever has been a British company since the end of November.

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