Sunday 25 February 2018

Morgan Stanley tops European broker league in resurgent equity trade

James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, the biggest broker in Europe
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

THE volume of equities traded in Europe last year jumped 11.5pc to €7.66 trillion, according to new data from research group Markit.

Morgan Stanley remains the biggest broker in Europe, reporting €1.1 trillion of equity volume, up from €905bn in 2012.

Markit said the increase saw the financial firm's share of European trading volume jump to 16pc in 2013 from 13.2pc the previous year.

With the exception of Spain's IBEX exchange, Morgan Stanley was the top company in all five large cap European indices.

Bank of America moved up four places on the Markit ranking of the biggest brokers in Europe.

It rose to the number two spot, accounting for €988bn in trading volumes, up a third on 2012.

Switzerland's UBS is the top Europe-domiciled bank on the list. Its trading soared 27pc to €949bn.

Markit said the surge in UBS trading saw the bank crack the top three on its list after coming in at number five in 2012.

The pick up in trading was evident across all the big financial players, with each of the top 10 on Markit's ranking reporting an increase in turnover.

The top 10 largest trading houses operating in Europe accounted for 91.2pc of the total equity turnover last year.

This is up 1.4 percentage points on 2012.

Nordic and Eastern European markets helped to drive the equity trading performance in 2013, recording a 16pc and 31pc respective rise in trading volumes. Markit said that while these markets experienced the largest relative growth, Western Europe still dominated the European market, accounting for over 87pc of the equity flow in the region.

BIOPHARMA

Trading in bank shares rose considerably as wider economic conditions improved. UK banks experienced the largest rise, with total trading volume in those stocks rising 25pc to €253bn.

Swiss biopharma shares experienced the second-largest surge in trading volumes after blue-chip firms Roche and Novartis had "stellar years," according to Markit.

Overall trading in Swiss biopharma shares climbed by €41bn to €164bn.

The volumes of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) also rose last year as their popularity increased, according to Markit. The volume of ETFs traded in Europe rose 24pc to €326bn last year.

Markit said that within ETFs, equity products, which had the best year in terms of asset growth last year, accounted for nearly 75pc of the total trading turnover. Fixed-income products accounted for 15pc, and following a tough year in their sector, commodity products as part of ETFs saw their turnover fall 15pc.

The research group said that 2013 will be regarded as the year in which stock markets recovered from their low.

"The continuing anxiety in European markets is still felt by the fact that the rise in trading volumes is down in real terms when compared to the rise in European equity volumes," it added.

Irish Independent

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