Robo-Stox was the first mutual fund dedicated to robotics and automation firms in the United States, and it’s now the first in Europe, too. Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS ETF (ROBO LN) opened at $10.35 and will target European investors looking to capitalize on the growing robotics industry.
Based in Ireland, the Robo EU index will be listed in three currencies (GBP, EUR, US$) and registered for distribution in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Spain and Luxembourg.
According to Robo-Stox Europe CEO Richard Lightbound, the US-based index includes 85 companies, while the European-based index features 82 companies. The companies not included in the Robo EU index are: Kardex AG (Swiss CO), Kongsberg Gruppen SA (Norway) and Isra Vision AG (Germany). Overall, Robo-Stox is 60 percent international with companies in more than 15 countries. “Europe is slightly tighter with its requirements, so a few companies had to bounce out of the European index,” Lightbound says.
Lightbound says it’s quite difficult to get a public listing on the London Stock Exchange. So why did Robo-Stox pursue the London Stock Exchange? “In terms of where the interest is from potential investors, the US and Europe are very significant for us,” Lightbound says. “It’s not that we think there’s a stronger play from Europe, it’s more because the institutional money in Europe prefers to look at a product that’s based in Europe.”
Lightbound says Robo-Stox isn’t currently looking at other stock exchanges for its robotics index. “We’re not trying to ride on a short-term train of robotics, we try to encompass all of the players,” he says. “What’s very important is that we be representative of the whole value production chain. It’s not just the big players, it’s a lot of the component-type companies and the technology-type companies that really drive robotics and automation. It’s really geared for the long-term.”
Robo-Stox performs a re-balancing every quarter, where it looks at current members, makes sure they’re still appropriate, and adds new members. Lightbound says they want to keep the US and EU indices the same, meaning a new member will be added to both or a member will be dropped from both.
?We believe the world is in the early stages of a transformational new economic era, driven by the increasing adoption of sophisticated robotics and automation technologies across all aspects of industry and day-to-day life,” Lightbound says. ?As labour costs rise and the price of automation falls, companies are approaching the tipping point for the rapid adoption of robotic technologies. Aging populations and shrinking workforces will accelerate this trend.?
To commemorate the listing, Kuka’s iiwa robot, which is capable of ultra-sensitive robot-human interaction, opened trading at the London Stock Exchange.
iiwa robot from Kuka
“We have over a thousand ETPs on London Stock Exchange, offering investors exposure to a vast range of underlyings,” says Lida Eslami, Exchange Traded Product (ETP) specialist, London Stock Exchange. “This exemplifies the industry’s fantastic growth story and London’s ability to offer the widest diversity of products. We are delighted to welcome the Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS ETF to London today, another example of innovation on our markets.”
Robo-Stox partnered with ETF Securities for the listing on the London Stock Exchange. ?We are delighted to partner with ROBO-STOX, the recognised leader in robotics and automation investment research, to launch this innovative ETF in an exciting growth sector that no other industry classification body has been able to separately identify to date,” says Howie Li, co-head of Canvas at ETF Securities. ?This investment solution will provide investors with a global portfolio of listed robotics and automation companies that capture activity from both emerging and established organisations.?