The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is set to see a strong surge in demand from overseas technology firms to list on the bourse through 2018 in alignment with a strategy that will see it emerge as a junior technology exchange catering to firms too small for the NASDAQ or NYSE.
According to an account by the Australian Financial Review, of the 16 technology initial public offers (IPOs) on the ASX for this year, four were foreign firms; Mobilicom and Elsight from Israel, software firm Biztrak from Malaysia and Credible from the US.
In an interaction with AFR, Max Cunningham, general manager of listings, said, investors were likely to see higher numbers in 2018, with technology enterprises from the US, New Zealand, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, Ireland and Germany set to list on the Australian bourse.
The ASX has emerged as a venue for technology firms with an international presence and valuations ranging between $100 million (i.e. centaurs) to $1 billion (unicorns). In the mature markets of the US and Europe, companies with such valuations often list on secondary boards or trade on mainboards as small cap stocks, which are generally valued between $300 million and $2 billion.
Cunningham claims that the recent decision by New Zealand cloud accounting software firm Xero to consolidate its listing on the ASX and delist from the NZX validates the ASX’s technology strategy. Since 2014, technology listings on the ASX have doubled to more than 200 listed corporates.