The Australian sharemarket is lacking in truly huge technology giants. Don’t get me wrong, we have some excellent technology companies in Australia, but they can’t be considered giants until they have conquered the world (or a reasonable part of it at least).
Australia’s biggest and brightest tech stocks, REA Group Limited (ASX: REA), SEEK Limited (ASX: SEK), Carsales.com Limited (ASX: CRZ) and Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) have a combined market cap of only $21.7 billion and dominate the Australian market.
Indeed, Apple held $164 billion in cash at last count, enough to gobble up our best companies at least five times over!
The Future Giants
Interestingly Australia’s top 4 aren’t even included in the S&P ASX 20 list of the top 20 stocks on the ASX based on market cap, liquidity and investment quality. I agree with some analysts that we will see a shift in the ASX 20 from stable companies that remain focussed on Australia, to companies that dominate on a global scale.
Importantly, the four companies above are all undertaking significant expansion overseas to ensure revenue and profits continue growing.
REA Group owns and operates real estate websites in Italy, Luxembourg and Hong Kong which have thus far been a drag on earnings but are expected to contribute meaningfully in the future.
SEEK has successful job websites in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Computershare delivers investor and business services in six regions: Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, Canada, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Ireland & Africa (UCIA) and the United States.
Carsales.com has a strategic stake in iCar Asia Ltd (ASX: ICQ), which owns a number of car advertisement websites throughout Asia, and has minority interests in other Brazilian and Asian websites.
The long-term investor might take the view that investing in all four, over a long period, should be a good strategy for reaping the benefits of the transition to online services all around the world.
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Motley Fool contributor Andrew Mudie does not own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares in Computershare. You can find Andrew on Twitter @andrewmudie