Spotlight on AEX ETFs as Dutch blue-chip index turns 30

Mar 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Equities

The AEX Index, the Netherlands’ most widely followed equity index, has celebrated its 30th birthday. The AEX was introduced on 4 March 1983, and was the first national blue-chip index in Europe.

Spotlight on AEX ETFs as Dutch blue-chip index turns 30

The AEX Index has reached its 30th birthday.

The index is composed of the 25 most actively traded securities on the Amsterdam exchange. It contains companies from the top segment of the market, including multinationals such as Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever, Heineken, Air France-KLM and ArcelorMittal.

As well as reflecting the performance and market sentiment of the Dutch market, the index offers global equity exposure owing to the international orientation of the country’s leading companies.

The index was specifically launched so that derivatives such as options and futures could be traded on it. However, the number of product types traded on the index has expanded considerably over the years, and there are currently more than 1,000 products linked to the AEX, including a range of exchange-traded products.

AEX INDEX

– The AEX Index reflects the performance
of the 25 most actively traded shares
listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam

– The index is the most widely followed
indicator of the Dutch stock market

– Major constituents include Unilever,
Royal Dutch Shell, ING Groep, Philips
and ASML

– Long, short and leveraged ETFs based
on the index are available from iShares,
SPDR, Lyxor and Think Capital

Cees Vermaas, CEO of NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, said: “The AEX Index has been inextricably linked to the Amsterdam exchange for 30 years. Our best known index is made up of prominent international businesses, an indication of the Amsterdam exchange’s position at the heart of the international capital markets.”

He added: “The AEX is an exceptionally tradable index, helping its companies to raise their profile in dealings with national and international investors. This year we are proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the AEX here at its home at Beursplein.”

The index was initially called the EOE-Index (European Options Exchange) and comprised 13 securities: ABN Bank, Ahold, Akzo, Amro Bank, Gist-Brocades, Heineken, Hoogovens, KLM, Royal Dutch, Nationale Nederlanden, Philips, Unilever and Nedlloyd. It was later expanded to include 20 securities, and finally 25.

Of the original list of thirteen companies, nine are still included in the index, either in the same form or as part of a merged company.

The index is weighted by free-float adjusted market capitalisation and includes a weighting cap of 15%. The largest constituents are currently Unilever, Royal Dutch Shell, ING Groep, Philips, and ASML. Consumer Goods commands the largest sector weight, followed by Financials, Oil & Gas, Industrials and Basic Materials The index is up 3.15% year to date (as of 8 March, 2013), trailing other European equity indices such as the FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX.

Investors can access the index via a range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Conventional long trackers include the iShares AEX ETF (IAEX) listed on the London Stock Exchange, Chi-X and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, the SPDR AEX Index ETF (AEXT) listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam, and the Think AEX Tracker ETF (TDT), also listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. All are physically replicated. The iShares and SPDR products are registered for distribution across much of Europe, including the UK, and possess UK Reporting Status. The Think Capital fund is primarily aimed at domestic Dutch investors.

For short and leveraged exposure, Lyxor offers the Lyxor ETF Short AEX (SHA) and Lyxor ETF Leverage AEX (LVA) listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

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