From my new home in Frankfurt, I keep a close eye on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) as both an investor and equities analyst. It is totally understandable that some exciting growth stories from Australia are unreported in Europe with so much else going on, so I thought we would look at two innovative Australian companies that are fast becoming best in the world in their chosen industries.
Here are just a few that you will likely hear more from in the years to come.
Phoslock Environmental Technologies Ltd (ASX: PET)
Phoslock is a unique water treatment product that permanently binds phosphorus in water bodies such as lakes, dams and canals. It deprives blue-green algae, the major cause of water purification, of nutrients and the algae dies. This ground-breaking water remediation treatment was invented by the CSIRO (Australian Government Science Organisation). It is totally safe for humans, fish and aquatic plants.
There is a popular lake not far from our home in Frankfurt, called the Bear Lake (The Bärensee) used frequently for swimming, camping and fishing. However, it was suffering from eutrophication (an excessive richness of nutrients in the water). For over nine years Phoslock has been applied to the water. In the six months following the treatment phosphorus levels dropped dramatically, and after three years since the application the lake was reopened to swimmers and campers and there has been a shift from blue green algae to diatoms (good algae).
PET is remediating waterways and lakes around the world through patented technology. Its success is reflected in the increase in value of the company which has increased by 175% in two years to a total enterprise value of about A$235 million in May 2019.
Advanced Nanotek Limited (ASX: ANO)
In the last few years there has been increased awareness around sunscreens that contain two types of chemicals – oxybenzone and octinoxate. In May 2018 Hawaii banned the sale of sunscreen that included these chemicals on the basis they “have significant harmful impacts on Hawaii’s marine environment and residing ecosystems”.
The quantities of sunscreen entering global waters annually is staggering – the estimates are around 4,000 to 6,000 tons. The research indicates the active chemicals in sunscreens awakens coral viruses in reefs, causing sickness and the release of life-giving algae. Without the algae, the coral becomes white or bleached and usually dies. This is now a major problem in Australia with estimates that over half the Great Barrier Reef has died.
A small Australian company is working to solve the problem of harmful chemicals in sunscreens and cosmetics. It does this through the use patented technology to produce a transparent oxide based broad spectrum UV absorber which has no evidence of causing any material reef damage.
The products are currently available to large chemists worldwide and in Germany through Cosmetic Lab Solutions and Cosmacon GmbH and to consumers through products such as ABC Sunscreen.
Investors have been fighting to get a hold of shares in Advanced Nanotek in the last 12 months, with the price surging from $A0.50 in May 2018 to about $A4.50 in May 2019. An increase of 800% in a year.