Sunday 19 November 2017

Greencore deal raises questions over Irish Stock Exchange's future

Dan White

Dan White

CONFIRMATION from Greencore that it had received a takeover approach may mark the beginning of the end of the former Irish Sugar company's 20-year stint as a stock exchange-listed company.

With the recession having wiped out most of the banks and several other companies having fled the Dublin market in recent years, what future does the Irish Stock Exchange have?

The Irish economic collapse has had a devastating effect on the Irish Stock Exchange with the value of shares traded in the first half of 2011 just €18.6bn, down five-sixths from the €102bn traded in the first half of 2007.

During that four-year period former stock exchange stalwarts such as AIB, now 99.8 per cent state-owned, and IL&P, in which the State has a 99.25 per cent stake, have disappeared from the market. Even before this week's announcement, Greencore had switched its primary listing to London; Aryzta, formerly IAWS, had moved its main listing to the Swiss Stock Exchange; while most trading in Tullow occurs in London.

At the same time the number of listed funds and listed debt securities, the two products upon which the Irish Stock Exchange has been relying to cushion the impact of reduced share trading volumes, fell during the first half of 2011.

It is vital that the Irish Stock Exchange comes up with another new product, perhaps by offering a no-frills European listing facility to non-European companies. Unless it does so it is difficult to see how the Dublin market can maintain a separate existence for much longer.

Sunday Indo Business

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