Business Irish

Friday 23 February 2018

ISEQ's third IPO of year is rising tide that lifts many boats

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

The ISEQ rose for a fourth day yesterday, buoyed by good sentiment across many sectors.

The benchmark index closed up 27.18 points, or 0.6pc, at 4,927.33 points led by Fastnet. The exploration company jumped 14.3pc to 16 cents, while Merrion Pharmaceuticals rose 6.3pc to 51c. The former Trinity College start-up was joined on the exchange yesterday by Mainstay Medical, a US start-up targeting lower-back pain. Mainstay had a listing in Dublin and Paris – the first company to do this – raising €18m and valuing it at €90m.

It is the Irish Stock Exchange's third IPO of the year, amid a recovery in investor confidence and start-up activity.

Kenmare also enjoyed a good day, advancing 5.7pc to 16.4c. Aer Lingus, which held a shareholder meeting yesterday where Ryanair unexpectedly voted in favour of chief executive Christoph Mueller's pay package, also advanced, rising 1.3pc to €1.55.

The ISEQ recorded a gain of 10pc in the first quarter of the year, the stock exchange said yesterday. That followed a 34pc increase last year.

The benchmark was among the strongest-performing indices in Europe in the first quarter and compares with a 2.2pc decline in the FTSE 100, no change in the DAX and a 2.2pc gain by the CAC.

The ISEQ also outperformed the leading US indices, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ over the quarter, as both increased less than 1.3pc.

There were 1.1 million equity trades in the first quarter, or 43pc more than the same period last year.

Equity turnover also increased strongly. The total value of equity trades in the first quarter was €17.9bn, an increase of 25pc on the €14.3bn recorded in the same quarter in 2013.

The average daily turnover for equities stood at €283m per day which was up 23pc on the same period last year. A total of €284m was raised in the quarter as hotel operator Dalata became the sixth company to list on the ISE since March 2013.

Dalata's IPO followed new listings in 2013 by Hibernia REIT, Green REIT, Mincon, GameAccount Network and Falcon Oil and Gas.

Irish Independent

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