Business Irish

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Bonds sale fails to stop 52pc fall in ISEQ trading

Joe Brennan

Runaway trading in Irish government bonds emerged as a saving grace for the Irish Stock Exchange in 2009 as the value of stocks changing hands on the market slumped 52pc to a decade low.

Bond traders were kept on their toes during the year as the Government sold €25bn of bonds and treasury bills to plug the hole in the Exchequer finances, and as investors traded on the back of credit agencies downgrading their ratings on Ireland as the economy deteriorated.

Turnover of Irish government bonds and Treasury bills more than tripled last year to €184bn, according the bourse's annual statistics review. But the volume of stock trading more than halved to €53.4bn -- even though the ISEQ is on track to post a 27pc rally for the year.

Trading hit a record €119bn in 2007 as the market value hit an all-time peak of €127bn before succumbing to the global financial crisis in the second half of the year.

The global crisis continued to have an impact on the exchange's specialist markets for funds and debt securities, which has been its most lucrative business for several years.

The number of new-fund and sub-fund listings fell to 298 last year from 429 in 2008. New debt tranches listed dropped to 3,512 from 4,381, bringing the total level of debt listings to 24,332.

Irish Independent

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