NEW YORK, November 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
BlueStar Indexes - a research-focused firm specializing in the Israeli capital markets and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) announced today the launch of the BlueStar TA-BIGITech™ Israel Technology ETF™ (Nasdaq: ITEQ™).
ITEQ™ is the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) to exclusively hold shares of public Israeli and Israel-linked global technology stocks. It tracks the performance of the TASE-BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index™ ("TA-BIGITech™), the first and only benchmark following a broad, deep and complete range of major Israeli tech companies listed on five exchanges worldwide (TASE, NASDAQ, NYSE, London Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange).
Factor Advisors, a subsidiary of ETF Managers Group, partnered with ITEQ ETF Partners, an affiliate of BlueStar Global Investors in today's ITEQ™ launch.
"We are pleased to collaborate with the TASE, the International Securities Exchange, ETF Managers Group, Nasdaq and other key partners in launching ITEQ™-the first U.S.-listed index product to focus on the full universe of established, emerging and disruptive technological innovation by Israeli companies," Steven Schoenfeld, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of BlueStar Indexes. "This is a unique opportunity for investors around the globe to access Israel's dynamic tech sector for their portfolios."
Innovative technology firms have largely driven global growth during the past two decades, and the weight of these companies in major stock indexes around the world has significantly increased. Given Israel's low weight in global indexes, Israel's cutting-edge companies are often overlooked among technology investors' portfolios. Israeli tech stocks are a key missing component of global technology equity exposure.
"Israel is a dominant leader in the high-tech industry and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is committed to ensuring that global Israeli tech companies are available to investors worldwide," said Yossi Beinart, CEO of the TASE. "The launch of the ITEQ™ ETF tracking TA-BIGITech™ will raise visibility of this important sector and strengthen TASE's profile with global investors, contributing to our overall market and economic development."
TA-BIGITech™ is comprised of 65 stocks of Israeli high-tech companies working in information technology, cybersecurity, clean and renewable energy, biotechnology, sustainable agriculture, and defense technology. These companies have minimal overlap with technology indexes and ETFs currently listed in the U.S.
By tracking the TA-BIGITech™ index, ITEQ™ provides investors access to Israeli companies regardless of which stock exchange a company's shares are listed. The benchmark for ITEQ™ includes leading Israeli global technology companies such as Amdocs (Ticker: DOX), Checkpoint Software (Ticker: CHKP), Mobileye (Ticker: MBLY), Elbit Systems (Ticker: ESLT) and Verint Systems (Ticker: VRNT).
The TA-BIGITech™ index was launched in 2013 with history from 2004 onward, and in 2015, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange partnered in the dissemination of the index, as part of TASE's globalization efforts. It has a float-adjusted market capitalization of $55 billion, compared to just $22 billion for TASE's TA-TechElite benchmark.
The Israeli economy is forecast to grow by more than 3% in 2015, one of the highest developed market growth rates in the OECD, and Israel's robust technology sector is expected to account for at least one-third of this growth.
BlueStar Indexes is a subsidiary of BlueStar Global Investors LLC, a research-focused financial firm that specializes in the Israeli capital markets. BlueStar's mission is to develop investment strategies that provide global institutional and retail investors efficient access to the full range of Israeli asset classes. BlueStar's flagship products are the BlueStar Israel Global Index® (BIGI®), a benchmark designed for broad, deep and complete coverage of Israeli companies, providing balanced sector exposure to Israel's dynamic economy and the TASE-BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index™ (TA-BIGITech™). The NYSE-listed ISRA Israel ETF and two TASE-listed ETNs sponsored by Psagot track BIGI®, and in addition to ITEQ™, KSM Financial manages an Israeli-registered index fund tracking TA-BIGITech™.
Established in September 1953, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) is an efficient one-stop shop for the Israeli securities industry, hosting an increasingly sophisticated range of products available to investors, including shares, corporate bonds, treasury bills and bonds, index-tracking products and derivatives. The exchange is home to 461 listed companies with a total market capitalization of U.S.$200 billion, 597 corporate bonds and 640 Exchange-Traded Notes. TASE is a fully-automated exchange with a central order book trading system, providing clearing, settlement and depository services to local and international investors.
SOURCE Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE)