GOLD COAST TRIO ON RADAR FOR INDEX FUNDS

GOLD COAST TRIO ON RADAR FOR INDEX FUNDS

THREE Gold Coast-based companies, and one of the partners in the proposed cruise ship terminal, have increased their profile with fund managers following the latest round of upgrades on the Australian Securities Exchange by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Housing developer Villa World (ASX: VLW) and childcare centre operator Affinity Education Group (ASX: AFJ) have been added to the ASX 300, while the newly listed online sportswear retailer SurfStitch Group (ASX: SRF) has been included in the all ordinaries index.

The Sydney-based ASF Group (ASX: AFA), the company that has teamed with China State Construction and Engineering Co and CCCC Guangzhaou Dredging Co to explore the viability of a cruise ship terminal and integrated resort on Wave Break Island, has been included in the all ordinaries index.

The quarterly rebalancing of the indices means these companies could enjoy further gains as index funds reweigh their portfolios accordingly.

Villa World attributes the inclusion of its shares in the ASX 300 to its "achievement of market capitalisation, liquidity and free float objectives".

Villa World, which has just reported a bumper interim profit of $13 million, has seen its market capitalisation surge from $58 million in January 2012 to $234 million today.

Affinity, which disappointed shareholders with a net loss of $4.1 million for calendar 2014, continues to ride renewed enthusiasm for the childcare centre, led by the Gold Coast's largest listed company G8 education (ASX: GEM). Its shares regained ground today, rising to a high of $1.385.

SurfStitch has enjoyed a solid run on its shares since a temporary setback shortly after listing in December saw them dip to a low of 90c. The company has just reported a pro-rate net profit of $273,000 in the December half, ahead of forecasts, and its shares are now trading at a near 40 per cent premium to their $1 issue price.

The company is also capitalised at around $282 million, making it the Gold Coast's sixth-largest listed company. 

The inclusion of ASF Group comes on the heels of a surging share price which has almost doubled since December to 30c, capitalising the company at $178 million.

The Chinese-backed ASF, which has broad interests in resource plays across Australia, posted an interim loss of $7.3 million in the December half.

The company this week stepped up its commitment to the cruise terminal project by briefing local suppliers on the opportunities the $6.5 billion development could offer them over the next decade.

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