Ireland's ISEQ share index rose 27% to 2,975 in 2009, compared with a 66% slump in 2008. The measure is back to April 1997 levels and is now at 30% of the February 2007 record peak. Global building materials supplier CRH accounts for 34% of Irish market capitalisation.
In 2009, AIB lost 30% to €1.20; Bank of Ireland rose 58% to €1.32 and Irish Life & Permanent jumped 157% to €3.30.
Aer Lingus fell 65% to 65 cent.
On February 21, 2007, the ISEQ index rose to an-all time high of 10,041 and the Financial sub-index rose to 18,098.
Bank of Ireland closed at €18.65; Anglo Irish closed at €16.64 and AIB closed unchanged at €23.95.
The Financial sub-index closed at 1,059 on Thursday, December 31, 2009.
The general index closed at 2,968 on April 8, 1997.
The total market capitalisation at the end of 2009, was €44bn compared with €31bn in April 1997; €82bn at end 2004; €95bn at end 2005; €119bn at end 2006; €93 at end 2007 and €32bn at end 2008.
The Irish market is very small, with 9 shares accounting for 74% of market capitalisation.
International building materials group CRH accounts for 34% of Irish market capitalisation, followed by Ryanair at 12%; Kerry Group at 7%; Elan at 5% and Arytza at 5%.
Bank of Ireland has a 3.4% share and a market cap of €1.3bn.
AIB has a 2.7% share and a market cap of €1bn.
The four financial services' groups accounted for 44% of the market in mid-2007. On Thursday, with Anglo Irish in State control, the three survivors' share was down to 8.4%.
The Irish Examiner reported in February 2007: "Much of the growth seen and expected in the Irish market is underpinned by the economic fundamentals.
This year and next the Irish economy will grow about 5%, compared to 1.5% last year for the Eurozone and 2.2% for 2007.
For the past few years, stock market performance has been up over 20%, with 25% growth in 2005.
Forecasts for this year are very good, with growth in the overall value of the market expected to reach 20% or better."
In June 2007, one month after the general election and six weeks before the onset of the international credit crunch, Finfacts reported that investors had dumped Irish shares after Irish Life & Permanent said in a trading statement, that its residential mortgage book would grow by 20% in 2007.
In July 2007, Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince had infamously dismissed fears about an early end to the postmillennial debt frolics. “When the music stops,” he told The Financial Times, “in terms of liquidity, things will get complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.”
In the same month, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern, who had been a hospital bookkeeper before entering politics, told a a trade union conference that he did not know how people who moaned about the economy did not "commit suicide".
"Sitting on the sidelines, cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide because frankly the only thing that motivates me is being able to actively change something," Ahern said.
Two weeks before, Finfacts said the slowdown in the Irish housing market which would result in a fall in economic growth in 2008, would hit bank shares which "have got investors addicted to impressive double-digit returns during a long boom."
Ryanair's Michael O'Leary said: `We expect a big downturn in the next 12 months, we just don't know what's going to cause it. We must be due one.''
Finfacts article, June 2007: High foreign ownership of Irish shares will be bad news for stock market in 2008 when housing output will plunge 28% compared with 2006 peak
|Anglo Irish Bank closed at 22 euro cent on the Irish Stock Exchange, on January 15, 2009 - - its last day of trading before becoming a State-owned bank.
On February 21, 2007, the ISEQ index rose to an-all time high of 10,041 and the Financial sub-index rose to 18,098. Bank of Ireland closed at €18.65; Anglo Irish closed at €16.64 and AIB closed unchanged at €23.95.
A year later, on February 21, 2008, AIB closed at €13.80, Anglo Irish Bank finished at €8.84, while Irish Life & Permanent closed at €10.20 and Bank of Ireland traded at €9.50.
On November 21, 2007, nine months after the market peak, the general index was down 36% and the financials' sub-index had plunged 48%.
Bank of Ireland was down to €9.24; Anglo Irish €8.74 and AIB €13.11.
As for market leader CRH, the global building materials group, it is undoubtedly one of the few Irish international success stories, along with Ryanair, Denis O'Brien's Digicel, Kerry and INM.
However, is CRH still an Irish company?
It was formed through a merger in 1970 of two leading Irish public companies, Cement Limited (established in 1936) and Roadstone Limited (1949). Up to 90% of CRH's shares are held outside Ireland. About 2,000 of CRH's payroll of more than 94,000, are located in Ireland.
At the end of 2008, Finland led Nokia's country jobs at 23,320 from a total of 125,829. The firm had almost doubled its total payroll since 2006 through expansion in China and India but the home country remains the key part of its operation. Some 300 Finnish companies are direct first-tier suppliers to Nokia and a big proportion of the Finnish employees, work in research and development.
SEE also: Global Stock Markets 2009: Russia, Brazil, India and China - - the best big market performers; Worst decade for US stocks since 1820s