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Shares fell only 3pc in 2010 despite bank crisis

The value of shares traded on the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) fell just 3pc last year, despite the collapse in bank values, according to the latest data from the Exchange.

The overall ISEQ Index of Irish shares stood at 2885.10 at the end of last year, down just 3.02pc over the course of 2010.

The index is an artificially weighted average based on a starting point of 1000 in 1998.

By the end of the year companies with a combined share value of €44.795bn are listed in Dublin, 7.27pc higher than at the end of 2009. The biggest gains are among smaller companies.

The value of companies traded on the Enterprise Securities Market of smaller listed businesses was up 33pc compared to a 6.3pc rise on the main market. The rise in the ISEQ Index came despite a 61pc fall in the value of banking and other financial shares last year.

AIB ended the year in state hands after starting 2010 as a major stand-alone bank. Its shares dropped 75pc from €1.20 each at the start of the year to just 30 cent by the end of December 2010. Bank of Ireland has fared little better despite remaining out of state control. BOI shares fell 71pc in 2010 from €1.325 per share to 38.3 cent each at the close of 2010.

Some of Ireland's bigger corporations did better, including Ryanair, whose shares were up 13.74pc in the twelve months of 2010. Kerry Group's shares were valued at 13.48pc more by the end of 2010 than at the start.


In the same sector, Greencore rebounded from what had been 10 months of falling share prices to end the year down just 8.63pc after investors welcomed its merger with UK rival Northern Foods.

Shares in Independent News and Media (INM), which publishes this newspaper, rose sharply in 2010, from 13 cent each to 49.60 cent per share by the end of the year.

Irish banks and the Irish government were unable to issue bonds for much of 2010, driving a sharper fall in the ISEQ Index of Irish bonds.

The bond index fell 18.39pc to 81.49 by the end of the year. Longer-term bonds were the biggest decliner with the volume of 10-year bonds down 27.22pc, while bonds of up to three years fell 6.26pc.

Irish Independent