Business World

Thursday 22 February 2018

Shares in currency printer surge over rumours of Greek return to drachma

A drachma coin. Photo: Reuters
A drachma coin. Photo: Reuters
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

SHARES in banknote printer De La Rue have surged 10pc in recent weeks on persistent rumours that the UK company's presses are lined up to print the drachma if Greece really does leave the euro.

The stocks gave up some of those gains yesterday, after the company announced annual results for 2011.

However, shares in De La Rue had surged 12pc from the end of March to the start of this week, from £9 on March 30 to £10.09 per share on Monday.

The share price rise has come even though the rest of the London Stock Exchange fell 7pc over the same period.

De La Rue is one of the world's most exclusive contract printers. It has designed and printed bank notes for 150 currencies over the past five years and also prints stamps, passports and other sensitive documents.

Shares have risen as fears of a euro break-up grow, because De La Rue is seen as the company best placed to win the right to print new drachma, or even punts or marks, if the union does eventually fracture.

There was no mention of the euro crisis at yesterday's results announcement however.

They were happier to point out that De La Rue had posted a 73pc rise in full-year profit in 2011, boosted by a new contract to produce UK passports.

Other new business last year came from new Africa state South Sudan, which placed an order for bank notes.

Managers also provided the tantalising news that "a growing order book gives it confidence for 2012."

Irish Independent

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