Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 177

The future has arrived in Australia

There's a mind-numbing multitude of changes taking place around the world today. Focusing solely on new technologies is more than sufficient to back up that opening statement. I am not even including climate change, refugees, social inequality, demographics or the many side-effects from ultra-low interest rates and bond yields.

Viewed through an economic lens, most changes are still in early days of development. Their true impact will only be felt in 5-10 years' time. But societies have started to pay attention. It's why buzzwords like ‘sharing economy’, ‘fintech’ and ‘disruptors’ are common in the vocabulary of investors and economists, and even of politicians.

My eBook published last year, 'Change. Investing in a Low Growth World', draws a comparison with the roaring and fabulous 1920s, the last time such a whirlwind of innovations and technological breakthroughs re-shaped global society. If my comparison proves accurate, we haven't even seen the full tip of the iceberg of future transformations yet.

ASX transformation

Collectively, new technologies and ‘disruptors’ are already making their presence felt. By opening up monopolies, breaking down market barriers, lifting transparency for consumers and commoditising popular goods and services, there's already a good argument that all this partially explains today's lack of economic growth. It may also be causing a lack of inflation, low growth in wages and poor genuine, sustainable corporate profit growth across developed economies.

In Australia, where a relatively small population in a vast geographic space has facilitated duopolies dominating markets, the arrival of new business models and challengers has been an important co-contributor to why the ASX20 has significantly underperformed the broader share market since late 2012.

So far not so good for Australian share market investors. It's easy to feel excluded with companies including Facebook, Alphabet, Tesla, Apple and Alibaba contributing to the feel-good factor in US equity markets. Unbeknownst to many, the Australian share market is going through major transformation, and modern day explosions in innovation and capital-light business models sit at the coal face of it.

Raging bull market downstairs

The ASX20 price index is close to the same level it was in February 2013. This means no net returns from holding a basket of shares with Wesfarmers, Telstra, BHP Billiton and the banks in it, other than dividend payouts and franking, over a period extending more than 3.5 years.

Over that same period, the All Ordinaries index, comprising of 500 mostly mid and small cap stocks in addition to the Top 20, appreciated by nearly 12%. Still not a fabulous result, given the S&P500 in the US added 43%, but nevertheless a world away from the moribund and sorry state at the top of the Australian stock market.

No double guessing as to why many a focus has descended outside the Top 20 in Australia, including from funds managers previously specialised in large cap blue chips. This looks like the ideal environment to introduce new ASX-listings.

According to data from OnMarket Bookbuilds, not only are fresh IPO numbers on the rise, so is their average size and their popularity among investors. The average first day-of-trading performance for all 24 IPOs on the ASX in Q3 this year was +28.2% (average gain at 4pm on the first day of trading on the ASX). There's a trend to IPO more foreign companies on the ASX, as well as more new listings originating from private equiteers. Note to us all: private equity IPOs do not all turn into mud by default, as long as the owners remain on board with a substantial stake in the equity.

Technology rules among IPOs

The transformation of the ASX, as shown in the 20-year overview below, has expanded the exchange with many new technology, healthcare and finance & professional services companies. In 2016 to date, half of all IPOs consisted of technology and finance companies with many of the latter carrying the label ‘fintech’. Gone are the days when the majority of new listings comprised of mining, energy and mining services providers. That is so 2005-2010!

Australian investors do not only see the ugly side from today's technological transformation disrupting or challenging the corporate heavyweights. They do not by default have to venture overseas to seek exposure to new challengers and innovators; they can stay here at home, at the ASX.

It goes without saying, irrespective of current popularity and average past performances, new ASX listings are not a risk-free, guaranteed money printing option. Some IPOs cause shareholders severe headaches, if not significant capital losses. Once the initial euphoria post public listing ebbs away, there is no guarantee investors stay on board or join in. Most of these freshly minted ASX-additions are young, unknown and they still have a lot to prove.

Don't ignore the future

As a daily observer of financial markets and of global macro-economic developments, I believe new IPOs over the past two years have enriched the local stock exchange, and investors should pay attention because in between the many newbies of today might be the next REA, ResMed or Carsales.

Below are ten newbies from the 2014-2016 harvest which, on my assessment, have shown enough substance to suggest a future success story might be in the making. Investors should always conduct their own research and consider their risk appetite.

Ten ASX-Newbies worth investors’ attention

Brief introduction to these names:

  • iSentia: media intelligence offered as Software as a Service (SaaS), expanding into Asia
  • Speedcast International: network and satellite communications services worldwide, headquartered in Hong Kong
  • Catapult Group: wearable athlete tracking and analytics solutions
  • oOh!media: out-of-home advertising services, increasingly digital
  • Appen: speech technology and search services for international technology customers
  • Link Administration: back office administration services to companies and financial services providers in Australia
  • MYOB: desktop accountancy software, migrating into the cloud
  • Class: cloud-based services for SMSF trustees, their accountants and their advisors
  • WiseTech Global: cloud-based software solutions for the logistics industry, worldwide

If you do intend to look into some of the potential new stars of the future, the list above could be a good starting point.

 

Rudi Filapek-Vandyck is Editor of FNArena. His book, "Change. Investing in a Low Growth World", is available via Amazon or any online book platform. This article is general information and does not consider the circumstances of any individual.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Bounce back delivers super second-half for IPOs

IPO a-go-go: the who, why, when and how much of IPO investing

Inside a hot IPO

banner

Most viewed in recent weeks

How to enjoy your retirement

Amid thousands of comments, tips include developing interests to keep occupied, planning in advance to have enough money, staying connected with friends and communities ... should you defer retirement or just do it?

Results from our retirement experiences survey

Retirement is a good experience if you plan for it and manage your time, but freedom from money worries is key. Many retirees enjoy managing their money but SMSFs are not for everyone. Each retirement is different.

A tonic for turbulent times: my nine tips for investing

Investing is often portrayed as unapproachably complex. Can it be distilled into nine tips? An economist with 35 years of experience through numerous market cycles and events has given it a shot.

Rival standard for savings and incomes in retirement

A new standard argues the majority of Australians will never achieve the ASFA 'comfortable' level of retirement savings and it amounts to 'fearmongering' by vested interests. If comfortable is aspirational, so be it.

Dalio v Marks is common sense v uncommon sense

Billionaire fund manager standoff: Ray Dalio thinks investing is common sense and markets are simple, while Howard Marks says complex and convoluted 'second-level' thinking is needed for superior returns.

Fear is good if you are not part of the herd

If you feel fear when the market loses its head, you become part of the herd. Develop habits to embrace the fear. Identify the cause, decide if you need to take action and own the result without looking back. 

Latest Updates

Economy

The paradox of investment cycles

Now we're captivated by inflation and higher rates but only a year ago, investors were certain of the supremacy of US companies, the benign nature of inflation and the remoteness of tighter monetary policy.

Shares

Reporting Season will show cost control and pricing power

Companies have been slow to update guidance and we have yet to see the impact of inflation expectations in earnings and outlooks. Companies need to insulate costs from inflation while enjoying an uptick in revenue.

Shares

The early signals for August company earnings

Weaker share prices may have already discounted some bad news, but cost inflation is creating wide divergences inside and across sectors. Early results show some companies are strong enough to resist sector falls.

Property

The compelling 20-year flight of SYD into private hands

In 2002, the share price of the company that became Sydney Airport (SYD) hit 80 cents from the $2 IPO price. After 20 years of astute investment driving revenue increases, it sold to private hands for $8.75 in 2022.

Investment strategies

Ethical investing responding to some short-term challenges

There are significant differences in the sector weightings of an ethical fund versus an index, and while this has caused some short-term headwinds recently, the tailwinds are expected to blow over the long term.

Investment strategies

If you are new to investing, avoid these 10 common mistakes

Many new investors make common mistakes while learning about markets. Losses are inevitable. Newbies should read more and develop a long-term focus while avoiding big mistakes and not aiming to be brilliant.

Investment strategies

RMBS today: rising rate-linked income with capital preservation

Lenders use Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities to finance mortgages and RMBS are available to retail investors through fund structures. They come with many layers of protection beyond movements in house prices. 

Sponsors

Alliances

© 2022 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third-party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use. Any general advice or ‘regulated financial advice’ under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.