Wednesday 22 January 2020

Irish share prices hammered as vote sends Iseq into 12pc slump

Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan Photo: Tom Burke

Michael Cogley

Many of Ireland's largest companies have seen their share price rocked this morning following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

The Iseq has suffered a fall of as much as 12.73pc this morning with shares in Permanent TSB, Bank of Ireland, Paddy Power Betfair, and CRH amongst the worst hit.

Shares in PTSB were down 26pc, with Paddy Power Betfair falling by 15.57pc in early morning trading.

Smurfit Kappa was down 10.35pc while Total Produce was down 14.97pc.

Transport firms were hit this morning by the fallout of the vote also. Ryanair fell by 13pc and Irish Continental Group, the company that owns Irish Ferries was down 9.17pc.

Meanwhile shares in Grafton Group were down 18.4pc in opening trading.

Bank of Ireland shares were down 23pc so far this morning while Patrick Coveney's Greencore dipped 12.62pc.

Willie Walsh's IAG group, the airline firm that owns Aer Lingus, which is listed in the UK, was down 13pc.

The fall in share prices across Irish firms represents the immediate impact of the Brexit vote, however the specifics of its long term effects remain unknown. The outcome may put a question mark over the flotation of AIB in both the short and medium term.

The Iseq has since stabilised, with the overall index down 8.5pc.

Government 10 year bonds for peripheral EU countries are up with Ireland at 2.3pc, Italy at 8pc, Spain at 9pc, Portugal at 11pc, and Greece at 18pc.

The Irish market is not alone in suffering the consequences of the UK's historical referendum. This morning's result has sent sterling plunging this morning holding an adverse effect on most of the global markets.

British markets plunged on Friday, with sterling hitting a 31-year low in its biggest fall on record and UK stock futures pointing to a steep fall at the market open.

Bonds also sold off sharply, pushing UK government borrowing costs sharply higher, as traders and investors grappled with the market implications of 'Brexit'.

The pound had hit a 2016 high above $1.50 after an earlier opinion poll showed an outcome in favor of 'Remain', but fell nearly 17 cents from that peak as area counts came in and TV stations said the Brexit camp had won the landmark referendum.

The British currency's fall of almost 10 percent was also historic, marking a decline greater than anything seen since free-floating system of exchange rates was introduced in the early 1970s.

It was even bigger than on 'Black Wednesday' in 1992, when billionaire financier George Soros was instrumental in pushing the pound out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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