Monday 22 January 2018

Cheap money boosts share transactions on Dublin exchange

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Photo: Reuters
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange. Photo: Reuters
Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

The Dublin stock exchange enjoyed a bumper first quarter as a flood of cheap money encouraged investors to buy shares and companies to raise cash.

New figures from the stock exchange show a record €2.2bn was raised by companies listed on the exchange in the first quarter while a record 1.4m share trades took place. The fund raising included life science company Malin's €330m initial public offering and a €1.6bn capital raise by CRH.

The number of share transactions on the exchange jumped 28pc from the previous quarter while turnover of the top 20 companies soared 70pc to €23.9bn from the previous quarter. The average daily turnover for equities stood at €380m or 73pc higher than the daily average in the last quarter of 2014.

Four companies other than CRH and Malin turned to the Dublin exchange to raise cash earlier this year. They were Irish Residential Properties Reit (€215m), Dalata Hotels (€50m), Providence Resources (€26m) and First Derivatives (€21m). There were also new bond listings from Ryanair, Rentokil and Spanish grocery firm Hipercor.

Ryanair raised €850m alone to finance aircraft purchases as part of a €3bn programme.

European shares slipped on Tuesday after their recent sharp rally but retained big gains for the quarter, with Germany's DAX posting its strongest first-quarter performance since its creation in 1988.

The benchmark ISEQ was up 15pc in the period.

The Irish stock exchange's performance was not unique. Germany's DAX surged 22pc in the first three months, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares climbed 16pc, boosted by the European Central Bank's asset-buying scheme.

Shares in the euro zone saw the bulk of the gains, climbing 18pc overall, a rise of about €665bn in market value over the past three months.

That is more than half the size of the ECB's quantitative easing programme, launched this month.

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