Sunday 22 October 2017

Exchange turnover up as ISEQ index falls

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

THE Irish Stock Exchange reported a strong performance last year.

The volume of shares traded rose, with more bonds listed, and a number of flotations.

This offset a decline in the benchmark index, which finished last year lower than it did in the previous year.

The value of the ISEQ index declined by 4pc in 2016, and finished up at 6,517.

This was the first fall in the benchmark index since the country was bailed out by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank in 2010.

But the fall off in the index was in contrast to listings activity and turnover on the stock exchange. The value of the turnover of equities rose to hit €89bn last year and the number of trades executed increased by 17.4pc to 6.6m.

Last year was marked by investor concern that caused volatility, with fears generated by Brexit, questions over the health of the Chinese economy, and the election of Donald Trump as the next US president.

Despite this, the exchange saw a 7pc rise in the number of bond listings to 29,000.

This copper-fastened its position as the world's second main venue for the listing of bonds, after Luxembourg.

Among the high-profile listings were the first-ever sovereign bonds from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, valued at $17.5bn (€16.36bn).

The kingdom turned to the capital markets for the first time to sell debt to shore up its finances as oil prices plunged.

There were also 1,000 new fund listings last year, helping the exchange to retain its number position for funds listing globally.

There were new equity listings from Venn Life Sciences, Draper Esprit and Dalata Hotel Group.

In its review for 2016, the exchange said that €513m was raised by 11 companies on the exchange.

A former commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Don Gallagher, joined the Irish Stock Exchange board as a non-executive director in February.

"Our core business performed well in 2016," said the chief executive of the Irish Stock Exchange, Deirdre Somers.

"We are considered by international investment managers to be the global centre of choice for fund listing and launched two new services for funds.

"Trading activity was strong and we continue to be the leading liquidity pool for Irish shares despite competition from across Europe."

Irish Independent

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