Business World

Friday 20 April 2018

ISEQ hits a new six-year high

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

IRISH stocks surged yesterday, with the ISEQ Overall Index closing up 1.1pc or 51.50 points at a new six-year high, 4786.51. January has proved to be a good month for the exchange, which has risen more than 4pc in the past five trading days alone.

Permanent TSB led the gainers, jumping 16pc to 7c after the lender revealed forecasts for a 10pc return on equity for its good-bank unit by 2017, under a plan to return it to private ownership. In an investor presentation, the bank's management discussed the intended sale of its distressed mortgages and a unit of its loans.

"Ireland's economy is recovering, with clear improvements in the labour and property markets," the bank said. "Investors are well positioned to benefit from improved consumer sentiment."

AIB also rallied, up 8pc to 14c, while Bank of Ireland rose 5pc to 31c after passing the 30c mark for the first time in nearly three months last week.

INM added 6pc to 15c. 'The Sunday Times' reported over the weekend that it was looking to sell Independent Colleges, its Dublin-based training institute.

LOSSES

Karelian Diamond saw the largest percentage losses of the day, falling 30pc to 3c.

Shannon-headquartered mining company Mincon dropped 1pc to 95c. The company announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer yesterday -- Brian Lenihan, a former director with KPMG.

In Europe, stocks advanced for a second day after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted its first full-weekly gain of 2014, as a global banking-supervision body eased rules linked to minimum-capital requirements for lenders.

The composite index climbed 0.2pc to 330.72 at the close of trading as a gauge of banking shares climbed to its highest level since April 2011.

National benchmarks rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets. The UK's FTSE 100 added 0.3pc, Germany's DAX gained 0.4pc and France's CAC 40 increased 0.3pc.

In the UK, Debenhams rose 5pc to 85.7p as Sports Direct International acquired a 4.63pc stake in the UK's second-largest department store chain.

Irish Independent

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