What are 'Kangaroos'

Kangaroos is a term used to describe Australian stocks that comprise the country’s All-Ordinaries Index. The index consists of stocks of the most actively traded Australian companies. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Kangaroos'

The Kangaroos is the All-Ordinaries Index, which represents the most quoted benchmark index for the country’s equities market. The Australian Stock Exchange is in charge of calculating and distributing the index and its returns.

The market-weighted All-Ordinaries Index, which launched in January 1980, is the oldest index in Australia and includes about 500 companies. The market capitalization of the companies included in the index represents a dominant share of the value of all shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

For inclusion, All-Ordinaries Index companies have to have a market value of at least 0.2 percent of all domestic equities quoted on the exchange and have an average turnover of at least 0.5 percent of its quoted shares per month. Market values of those stocks meeting these criteria vary, so share price movements among larger-cap companies exert a greater influence on the index than smaller companies. Notably, the index does not include dividends paid to shareholders. As a result, the index does not reflect the total returns made from share market investments over any particular period

The Australian Stock Exchange updates the index portfolio at the end of every month to make sure that the companies remain eligible for inclusion. Changes in the portfolio companies, such as delistings, additions and capital reconstructions, can also lead to index changes during the month. 

Kangaroos in the Bond Market

Kangaroos can refer to Australia’s bond market as well. In this case, a kangaroo bond is a foreign bond issued in Australia’s market by a non-Australian firm but denominated in Australian dollars. The issuer’s goal would be to diversify their holdings and gain exposure to investors and lenders participating in Australia’s debt market. Among those that issue kangaroo bonds are corporations, financial institutions and governments. Historically, market participants from the U.S. and Germany have been significant issuers of kangaroo bonds.

Typically, the kangaroo bond sees increased issuance when interest rates in Australia are low relative to the foreign corporation's domestic rates, thus, lowering the foreign issuer's overall interest expense and cost of borrowing.

Similar in concept to kangaroo bonds, foreign bonds issued on other markets include the likes of Samurai bonds, Maple bonds, Matador bonds, Yankee bonds and Bulldog bonds.
 

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