T-Net 20 Article Feb 09, 1999.

T-Net 20 High Tech Stock Index Performance Update by Michael Volker

The T-Net 20 B.C. high tech index closed January, 1999 at 1526, up 100 points since the beginning of the year and up by 52.6% since the index was pegged at 1000 on Jan 1, 1998.

The index was launched in May'98 to track the performance or B.C.'s 20 largest (by market capitalization) companies. Foreign controlled companies or subsidiaries of foreign firms such as Electronic Arts or MacDonald-Dettwiler are not, unfortunately, included in the index.

Recently, PMC-Sierra took over the number one spot from Ballard Power Corp. PMC-Sierra's been hitting new highs and is presently trading in the high $70's (USD). That gives it a market cap (i.e.valuation) of C$3.3 billion as compared to Ballard's $2.4 billion.

PhotoTherapeutics Inc., which develops light-activated drugs for cancer and other conditions, touched a new 52-week high of $66 recently, almost double its Jan 4th close of $34.25. And, it isn't even an internet stock! QLT's popularity is attributed to promising results for its therapy for preserving eyesight in patients over 50 with age-related macular degeneration. It speaks well for our biotech sector.

Are high tech stocks getting ahead of themselves? Maybe. But one thing is for sure: B.C. companies are staking their claims in the international arena and this bodes well for emerging firms seeking equity investments. Maybe this is a good time for some additional investment stimulation via tax credits!

Michael Volker is the Director of the University/Industry Liaison Office at Simon Fraser University, Chairman of the Vancouver Enterprise Forum, and a technology entrepreneur. Contact: mike@risktaker.com.

Copyright, 1999.