The stock exchange will launch an index to measure the performance of the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) to help attract more investors to the second board. All second board stocks will be included in the Growth Enterprise Index (GEI) with new listings being added on their second trading day. The Index will start on Monday with 16 companies, including this week's new listings of Wah Sang Gas Holdings today and Sunevision Holdings tomorrow. The base value and date of the Index will be 1,000 on March 17 and each company will be weighted according to market capitalisation. Individual weightings will be announced tomorrow. Internet stocks Tom. com, Hongkong.com and Sunevision are expected to dominate initially due to their larger capitalisations. 'The movement of GEI will be driven initially by a few large companies. This reflects the market structure and may change with the listing of more companies on GEM,' according to the exchange. The GEI will be updated every minute and distributed via the same information vendors as the Hang Seng Index, an exchange spokesman said. No plans have been made to launch futures and options contracts based on the new Index, he said. The launch of GEI was welcomed by brokers and fund managers as a necessary benchmark although investment funds were not expected to set up GEM funds until more companies have listed. Roger Pyrke, a director at Barclays International Funds Asia, said: 'It will be a good point of reference for institutions and retail investors.' The launch is expected to attract more long-term investors to the second board. 'Funds are going to be set up for the purpose of investing in these companies for the longer term,' said Alex Tang Yee-yuk, research director at Core Pacific-Yamaichi. Brokers said a broader technology index should also be created, incorporating companies from the main board. 'We also need a so-called technology index covering the major technology stocks in Hong Kong,' Mr Tang said. Tom.com recovered some lost ground yesterday with a rise of 13.67 per cent to $12.05. The counter peaked at $14.30 on March 7 before falling on the back of declines in Japanese Internet stocks. However, Hongkong. com continued to fall, closing 2.99 per cent lower at $4.05. The largest fall on the GEM yesterday was business data provider Asian Information Resources Holdings which dropped 7.77 per cent to 83 cents.