NASDAQ launches new clean-tech index

By Nicholas Zeman | January 19, 2010
Posted February 24, 2010

U.S. biofuel companies get no representation on NASDAQ's new DB NASDAQ OMX Clean Tech Index (DBCC), launched Feb. 10, after a rigorous selection process performed by Deutsche Bank's Climate Change Advisors. Solar, geothermal and waste management firms dominate the conglomerate of clean techs investors can now buy for a single price through the exchange. Dedicated biofuels companies included in the index are dominated by Brazilian ethanol efforts. At press time, the product was trading at $1,002.9, as an "accurate real-time representation of the clean technology sector," NASDAQ said.

The biofuels industry does have considerable indirect links to the index. Listed are many firms in the "waste management and recycling" sectors, which have seen increasing ties to the biofuels industries in recent years.

The French-based Veolia Environment SA is listed on the index as a "water management and filtration" firm, but it is also a biodiesel producer and distributor, operating a rail link that connects the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to fuel outlets throughout central Europe. The European Biodiesel Board lists Veolia, with its Limay, France-based biodiesel plant sized at 60,000 metric tons, as one of five companies in France operating methyl ester production facilities.

"There aren't as many biodiesel companies as there were," said Rob Wilder of Wilder Shares LLC, an independent California company that also offers a clean energy index, referring to biodiesel industry as a whole. "And most of those that are operating are small. So it's not a matter of excluding biodiesel or biofuels-it's simply about what's available." NASDAQ announced that criteria for placement in the new product were "market capitalization of $250 million and over $1 million average daily dollar trading volume."

In other biofuels stock news, Cosan SA of Brazil, a DBCC constituent company, recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Dutch Shell-said to be a $12 billion deal uniting the number one producer of sugarcane ethanol with one of the world's largest oil companies.
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