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19/10/2021

The Swiss Market Index: SMI value and investment in 2021

The Swiss Market Index (SMI), also known as the Swiss 20, is the stock market index of the 20 largest companies listed on the Zurich Stock Exchange. The companies that make up this index have a major impact on the Swiss economy, accounting for around 90% of Switzerland's total market capitalization. For domestic and foreign investors, the Swiss market is full of opportunities, not least because of its relatively crisis-resistant stocks.

This guide will provide you with essential information about the Swiss Market Index, including its history, composition, price, influencing factors and investment perspectives.

Overview of the Swiss Market Index

History

The Swiss Market Index was first published on 1 July 1988 with an initial value of 1,500 points. The Association of Swiss Stock Exchanges (the predecessor of the SIX) was responsible for the index.

The index started with 24 stocks, increased to 29 in 1993 and was reduced to 20 stocks in September 2010. The index includes the largest and most liquid stocks on the Swiss stock market. 

It was not until 2020 that the SMI was approved under the EU Benchmark Regulation and registered with the Financial Markets Authority. It can now be used as an underlying for financial assets sold in the EU.

SMI index milestones

1988: creation and publication of the SMI

The Swiss Market Index was first published on 1 July 1988. It was introduced and calculated on June 30 of the same year.

August 2, 1996: Switch to algorithms

The Swiss Stock Exchange moved to 100% electronic trading. Previously, shares were bought and sold by voice.

Composition of the SMI

Calculation of the SMI

The market capitalisation of companies to be included in the SMI is assessed on the basis of their free float. In other words, only freely tradable shares are taken into account when determining whether or not a security meets the listing criteria.

The value of the Swiss Market Index is calculated by dividing the market capitalization of each stock by a set of divisors. As of September 2017, no component of the index can have a weight of more than 18% of the total index value. This is a decision taken following recommendations from the European Securities and Markets Authority.

The companies that make up SMI

The stocks that make up the SMI are multinational companies that carry a lot of weight in the global market. Examples include Novartis AG, the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, and Holcim, the world's leading producer of building materials and solutions.

Since the index was created, only the Nestlé Group has remained on the index. Other companies are still included, but have changed their names. This is the case of Schweizerische Kreditanstalt, which became Credit Suisse, and Hoffmann-La Roche, which became Roche. Some companies have been taken over by foreign capital, while others, such as Swissair, have disappeared.

Here is the list of the 20 companies that make up the Swiss Market Index:

  • ABB ltd: power and automation technology
  • Alcon: therapeutic solution and medical device
  • Credit Suisse Group: finance
  • Geberit : sanitary installation
  • Givaudan: fragrances, flavors and cosmetic actives 
  • Holcim: building materials
  • Lonza Group AG: chemical and pharmaceutical industry
  • Nestlé SA: food industry
  • Novartis AG: pharmaceutical industry
  • Partners Group: private equity
  • Richemont: luxury industry
  • Roche Holding AG: pharmaceutical industry
  • SGS: analysis, control, verification and certification
  • Sika: building materials
  • Swatch Group: watchmaking
  • Swiss Life Holding: financial service specialising in life insurance
  • Swiss Re: insurance and reinsurance
  • Swisscom: telecommunications
  • UBS Group AG: bank
  • Zurich Insurance Group: insurance

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