Here’s some good news for Indian tech companies not keen to access Nasdaq due to the US financial sector crisis. A new stock exchange for small companies in the technology space is being launched in Australia and five of the 20 initial listings on the new bourse are expected to be Asian.
The new facility seeks to provide an alternative to tech firms which till now depended on the US-based Nasdaq or the UK’s AIM to access capital markets. What comes as sweet music to the ears of Indian techies is that one of the goals of the new exchange is to promote a Silicon Valley in northern Sydney. Going by the success of Indian-origin entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley, the new option could hold strong potential.
The capital market in Australia is not exactly roaring at this point as shocks of the subprime meltdown have raised doubts in the minds of investors, but the
Asia-Pacific Technology Exchange (APTEX)
is expected to turn attractive since the Asia-Pacific region is seen to be getting least affected by the US slowdown
There is no mention yet of Indian companies lining up to list at the new bourse, but officials pointed out that some players like the Vedanta Group of Anil Agarwal and the Oswal Group have already invested in Australia. More importantly IT players like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and Polaris are also working in Australia.
India and Australia have also launched a joint study to consider a free trade agreement, which New Delhi wants to be in the nature of a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement. Australia has a campaign called ‘Riding the Elephant’ to encourage partnership between companies of both the countries and a key focus area of this initiative is the IT sector.
The new bourse is looking at small & medium companies in the tech space and Indian start-ups in IT, biotechnology and pharma could fit the bill.
APTEX is a JV between NSX, owner of the
National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSXA),
, a non-profit organisation looking to promote ‘a Silicon Valley’ in Australia. Listings at the new exchange are expected to begin later this year.
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Another attraction for Indian companies will be the listing norms, which are not expected to be as tough as Nasdaq. The cost of compliance would be cheaper as companies listing on the new bourse will meet NSXA norms and the current perception is that these will be easier for small enterprises with fewer shareholders.