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Investing in European Technology

Technology is often associated with the US. The impression exists that if it is cutting edge it must be coming from Silicon Valley. This is amusing, as two firms that have shaped the way we interact and the way we play music immediately come to mind. I am referring to Skype and Spotify of course.

Or else, if you are into games you will immediately recognize Rovio (Angry Birds), King (Candy Crush Saga), Wooga (Diamond Dash), Supercell (Clash of Clans) and Outit7 (Talking Tom). Also, there are the online betting and social casino games that keep on growing like crazy; Betfair, Bet365, 888casino. The list goes on.

Technology firms are relatively riskier than the market in general due to the fast pace at which products in this sector evolve. Investors can limit the risk by either investing in the European technology index fund which includes all the names below or by taking positions in large European Technology leaders.

SAP SE

SAP is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. The company has regional offices in 130 countries.

Since 2012, SAP has acquired several companies that sell cloud-based products. This shift in focus is seen as an attempt to directly challenge Oracle.

SAP shares has gained 40% in the past year. The company is expected to continue to profit from the shift towards cloud based services.

ASML Holdings PLC

Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML makes the machines that are used to manufacture chips. ASML designs, develops, integrates, markets and services lithography systems for the semiconductor industry.

ASML boasts Samsung, TSMC, Intel Corp, ST Electronics, Toshiba, SanDisk Corp and many others as customers. With the ever increasing demands for faster processors these firms rely on ASML to develop the required manufacturing tools.

Moore’s Law continues to be achievable partly due to ASML’s contribution. While performance has been flat this year, the outlook up to 2020 is optimistic. ASML shares has gained 47% in the past year.

Infineon Technologies

Infineon Technologies AG is a German semiconductor manufacturer. Infineon provides semiconductor products for use in powertrains (engine and transmission control), comfort electronics (e.g., steering, shock absorbers, and air conditioners) as well as in safety systems (ABS, airbags, ESP). The product portfolio includes microcontrollers, power semiconductors and sensors.

The industrial division of the company includes power semiconductors and modules which are used for generation, the division Power Management & Control sums up the business with semiconductor components for efficient power management or high-frequency applications. Those find application in lighting management systems and LED lighting, power supplies for servers, PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics.

The CCS business provides microcontrollers for mobile phone SIM cards, payment cards, security chips and chip-based solutions for passports, identity cards and other official documents.

Infineon Technologies shares has gained 63% in the past year.

STMicroelectronics

We all drive this company regularly. STMicroelectronics is a French-Italian multinational electronics and semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is commonly called ST, and it is Europe’s largest semiconductor chip maker based on revenue.

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