The Frankfurt stock exchange’s blue-chip share price index, the DAX, plans to add 10 companies to better match its international peers, market operator Deutsche Boerse AG said yesterday.
The change, aimed at bringing the index into “line with international standards,” would take place in September next year, it said.
The DAX comprises Germany’s largest companies, but one of its most high-profile firms, the fintech Wirecard AG, collapsed in a massive fraud scandal earlier this year.
Wirecard admitted in June that 1.9 billion euros (US$2.26 billion) missing from its accounts did not exist at all, sparking a storm of criticism over how the company had been able to operate without regulators noticing problems.
Deutsche Boerse said that inclusion in the new index would require companies, among other things, to show that they have made an operating profit for at least two years.
Some have criticized the latest entry into the DAX, the takeaway provider Delivery Hero SE, which has never made a profit.
However, the relatively small number of companies in the blue-chip index — compared with 40 in France’s CAC and the FTSE 100 — has led some to believe that the DAX does not properly represent Europe’s largest economy.
Deutsche Boerse chief executive officer Theodor Weimer has previously made no secret of his desire to expand the DAX.
The increase would also help to diversify the index, which is dominated by traditional industry, automobiles and technology companies.
The perfume producer Symrise AG, the Berlin online fashion brand Zalando and the biotech lab Qiagen are expected to be included in the expanded index.
The expansion follows a review launched by Deutsche Boerse after the collapse of Wirecard, with more than 600 market players such as banks, fund companies and shareholder associations making comments.
Earlier this year, Deutsche Boerse made it easier to expel companies from the index in cases of insolvency.
The MDax index of medium-sized companies would decrease by 10 to 50 companies at the same time, Deutsche Boerse added.
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