Index Suggests Slow Recovery for Australian Cleantech Sector

Oct 14 2009 | 9:17am ET

The Australian cleantech sector appears to be recovering at a much slower rate than the general economy.

The ACT Australian CleanTech Index significantly underperformed both the S&P ASX200 and the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries for the month of September 2009. The index has now fallen a long way behind both of its benchmarks for both the financial and calendar years.

The ACT Australian CleanTech Index rose from 73.9 to 74.6 over the month of September recording a 1.0% gain. This compared to the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries Index gain of 4.5% and the S&P ASX200 gain of 5.9%. Over the first quarter of the 2010 fiscal year, the ACT Australian CleanTech Index recorded a gain of only 1.3%, compared with the 22.3% gain by the S&P ASX200 and the 22.1% gain by the S&P ASX Small Ordinaries.

The market capitalization of the 77 stocks in the ACT Australian CleanTech Index is A$11.2 billion, after its rebalance, falling from its peak of $16.3 billion in July 2007.

The best performer of 1Q FY10 was Eco Quest Ltd, which gained 300%. Other good performers, all of which had gains in excess of 50% were Solco, Advanced Energy Systems, WHL Energy, Mission NewEnergy, Overseas & General, Dolomatrix, Stericorp, Traffic Technologies, Gale Pacific, Eden Energy, Ceramic Fuel Cells, Hot Rock Ltd, Carbon Conscious, CO2 Group and Australian Ethical Investments.

Some of those that performed poorly include Stirling Biofuels, Skydome Holdings and Pacific Environment. A closer analysis of the index performance shows that, while many of the smaller stocks have recovered quicker than the general market, the larger cleantech stocks such as Sims Metal, Transpacific Industries and Infigen Energy have not recovered as quickly. This has been the primary cause of the Australian Cleantech Index being left behind.

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