The Finextra50 Financial Technology Index took a battering again last week, with Gresham, Iress and Oberthur Technologies, which could be acquired by its majority owner, providing the only bright spots. As Reed Elsevier completed its acquisition of Choicepoint, the consumer financial data broker leaves the index to be replaced by Nasdaq-listed Chinese banking technology specialist Yucheng Technologies.
Only three index companies saw rises of more than 5% last week, and only nine were in any kind of positive territory.
Leading the gainers was Gresham Computing, which rose 7.58% to 74.5p as investors reacted to positive announcements from the company about uptake of its real-time liquidity management solutions.
Oberthur Technologies rose 5.25% to EUR5.01 last week before shares were suspended on news that its majority owner, family holding company François-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire (FCOF), is attempting to buy out its minority shareholders and take the company private. FCOF already owns 70% of Oberthur Technologies shares.
FCOF is offering EUR6.70 per share, which would end up costing the company more than EUR226 million to take the smart card and security company private. The board of directors said it had been informed of the terms and would consider the offer before meeting again on 29 September to make its recommendation.
Australian brokerage and wealth management software vendor Iress Market Technology also rose 5.7% to AUD$6.12.
The index's biggest fallers last week were led by a trio of Indian financial technology companies:
Oracle Financial Services Software (formerly i-Flex) dropped 19.9% of its value to finish Friday at Rs785.
3i Infotech was down 18.22% to Rs73.6.
Mphasis was 16.17% lower at Rs184.85. On Friday 19 September Chief Executive Officer Jeya Kumar told reporters in India that the company had reduced its full-year hiring plans to 4,000 people in 2008, lower than the targeted 6,000-8,000 people. Through to August it had hired 2,000 people, and planned to add another 2,000 in the final quarter.
All six of the index's Indian constituents fell more than 10% as market turmoil in India and lack of confidence in the global financial sector led the The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex down 6.7%.
Also contributing to our index's biggest ever one-week fall was the performance of the largest company in the index, Thomson Reuters. It fell 7.86% to 1,290p after also dropping 7.83% the previous week as analysts voiced concerns about falling demand for the terminals and data provided by Thomson Reuters Markets, the financial division that accounts for about 40 per cent of the group's sales. Despite this, the company still says it has the potential to post revenue growth next year.
Choicepoint was officially de-listed last week, as its acquisition by Reed Elsevier was earlier given the go-ahead by The US Federal Trade Commission. It is replaced in the index by Nasdaq-listed Chinese banking technology specialist Yucheng Technologies, with a divisor adjustment being made to account for the replacement and ensure index continuity.
Despite dropping 4% this week, Yucheng stock has held up better than many other financial technology companies during the current banking sector crisis. Its shares are up 18.54% over the past 12 months.
More information on the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index methodology and constituent stocks can be found here.