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World of wishes Danny rings bell on busy day for the stock exchange

THE Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) saw a significant pick-up in activity in the first three months of the year, with daily averages up 7.5pc, according to its latest quarterly report.

The busier market helped Irish companies raise €100m in new finance from investors over the same period. Providence Resources raised €51.5m and Aminex took in €33m in fresh capital, with four other companies also raising smaller amounts.

The higher number of trades helped lift the value of shares changing hands by 2.9pc, to €10.4bn, according to the latest data from the stock exchange.

The ISEQ Index of Irish shares, a measure of the total value of companies listed in Ireland, fell over the same period, however.

The ISEQ Overall Index stood at 2885.10 at the end of last year, falling very marginally to 2874.71 by the end of March.

The index is an artificially weighted average based on a starting point of 1000 in 1998. Companies with a combined share value of €44.795bn are listed in Dublin.

There was a 65pc fall in the value of government bonds traded, down from €30.4bn in the last three months of 2010 to €10.6bn in Q1 2011.

It follows the Government's decision to exit the bond market. The total value of government bonds dropped from €75bn at the end of December to €65bn at the end of March.

The drop came as old bonds were replaced with loans from the IMF and European institutions.

Above, Danny Callaghan (5) from Wicklow helps Deirdre Somers, ISE chief executive, to ring the bell at the exchange in Anglesea St, Dublin, to mark the celebration of 'Make-A-Wish World Wish Day' yesterday.

The Irish Stock Exchange has chosen the Make-a-Wish Foundation as its charity for 2011. Similar bell-ringing events took place at six other stock exchanges, including in New York, Paris and Amsterdam.

Irish Independent