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Blog Posts — August 30, 2022

New DAX review timeline to reduce trading risk for index trackers 

With the upcoming September review, Qontigo1 will release information on changes to the DAX benchmarks’ constitution earlier than in previous quarters, helping market participants eliminate trading risks and lower costs for index replication. 

For the first time since the blue-chip DAX® index was introduced in 1988, the number of components’ shares, weight factors and caps affected by each quarterly review will be fixed using data as of the close on t-6 (six trading days before the effective rebalance date on the third Friday of review months)2, instead of t-0 as of now. These changes will now be published in the ‘business forecast’ file3 on t-5, instead of t-2, giving traders the certainty of confirmed, fixed data, with the sole exception of any corporate actions that may take place between fixing and rebalance. 

The advanced fixing of review adjustments and their earlier publication will enable index trackers to integrate their DAX-related dealing into their overall trading activity, benefitting, among others, from larger liquidity and efficient inventory management. 

Until now, traders faced a higher risk when replicating index products. Under the new methodology, they will know the new, exact weightings of DAX by the time of the effective review date, leaving market prices as the sole variable element before completing the necessary trades. In other words, index watchers can be sure they are replicating the index by close of trading on Friday, before changes take place on Monday.  

The updated methodology covers all DAX indices, including the DAXMDAX®SDAX®TecDAX®DAX® 50 ESG and DAX® ESG Target. For further information, please see a recent announcement

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Harmonization with STOXX indices

The DAX review calendar will now also be aligned with that of STOXX European indices. This improves the possibilities for investors replicating indices to match their buy and sell requirements within their own inventories. This will be a welcome development that enhances efficiencies around costs and liquidity.   

Broader overhaul

The latest update to the DAX methodology resulted from a market consultation conducted earlier this year, and follows a broader overhaul of DAX Selection indices that started in 2020 and that was aimed at bolstering the quality of member companies, bringing selection criteria in line with international standards and improving representativeness. Other modifications have included the enlargement of the DAX benchmark to 40 stocks from 30 previously, and a new requirement for DAX-eligible companies to be profitable. 

The latest changes to the review calendar further improve the index’s standing, with a particular focus on buy-side firms. Overall, Qontigo is strengthening the DAX’s position not only as the undisputed benchmark for the German equity market, but also as one of the world’s most popular underlyings for investment products and the market’s ecosystem. 

* Serkan Batir is Managing Director for Qontigo indices.

Qontigo’s index provider STOXX Ltd. is the administrator of the DAX indices under the European Benchmarks Regulation.
2 For the September review, t-6 is close on Thursday, Sept. 8.
3 For the September review, files will become available after the close of trading on Friday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. CET, and on the second Friday of review months going forward. The implementation of the review will remain unchanged, with the effective date being the Monday following the third Friday. This will be at the start of trading on Monday, Sept. 19, for the upcoming review.