Irish Stock Exchange tops global fund rankings
LAST year was "exceptional" for the Irish Stock Exchange and saw it top the global rankings for listing bonds and investment funds.
More than 27,000 bond and 7,123 investment funds listed on the exchange over the course of last year.
The debt securities are spread across two bond markets - the Global Exchange Market and the Main Securities Market.
Among the 551 new issuers joining the ISE's debt markets were global corporates, sovereigns and financial institutions.
The ISEQ Overall Index was also one of the world's best performing, and ended the year up 30pc.
The ISEQ 20, which represents the 20 most liquid and largest companies on the ISE, rose by 30.7pc over the year. It has enjoyed a 105pc gain over three years.
Deirdre Somers, ISE chief executive, said the Exchange had performed extremely well last year across all of its business lines. Staff numbers jumped 10pc to deal with the growth.
She added: "The number of securities listed on our markets rose by 6pc and we consolidated our position as the number one provider of listing services to debt and investment fund issuers around the globe. Trading levels were up across equity and Irish Government bond markets and the ISE continues to be the dominant pool of trading in Irish shares."
The ISE has become very popular for debt listings in part because of the perceived "light touch" regulation for finance in Ireland. The proximity of the IFSC, which houses hundreds of international firms, is also seen as helping to make the Dublin market a natural home to list for bonds and funds.
The ISE's equity markets saw four companies raise €980m in international funds through an initial public offering (IPO). The ISE also has plans to extend its Global Exchange Market (GEM) to include investment funds. The GEM currently lists debt instruments only.
Last month the stock exchange announced a new €10m expansion for its Dublin headquarters. The expansion involves the purchase and planned integration of adjacent buildings on Foster Place into a single corporate headquarters.
Legal giant Arthur Cox has attributed ISE's debt securities success to the fact that the exchange has committed to very aggressive turnaround times, including three working days on all initial submissions and two working days on all subsequent submissions for debt.
It also said it has a comprehensive set of listing guidelines applied across product types.