Irish Economy
Irish shares rose by 33.6% in 2013; ISEQ index back to early 1998 levels
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Jan 1, 2014 - 9:33 AM

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Irish shares rose by a 33.6% average in 2013 and the overall ISEQ index returned to early February 1998 levels.

The ISEQ Overall Index closed up 17.25 points on Tuesday at 4,539.43 compared with 3,396.67 at end 2012 when the index rose 17% in the year and 0.6% in 2011.

The index closed at 4,053.80 on December 31, 1997 and was at 4,545.04 on February 09, 1998.

The Irish performance in 2013 compared with a rise of 29% in Finland's OMX 25 and Greece's ATHEX Composite's climb of 28% while the pan-European Stoxx 600 index gained 17% in 2013.

In global terms, Ireland's performance was also impressive in dollar terms - - further details available here on Europe and the rest of the world in 2013:

Finfacts: Global shares rose 20% in 2013; Nikkei best in 41 years, Dow in 18 years

On the downside, the Irish Stock Exchange is sinking and in 2013 Elan, the once 20th most valuable listed drugs company in the world, which had been reduced to a shell in recent years, was sold off to Perrigo, a US firm that had built its business as a white goods supplier of cold remedies to retailers such as Wal Mart.  

Perrigo acquires Elan's tax residency by moving its headquarters to Dublin.

There were 5 IPOs (initial public offerings) on the exchange in 2013 and in Budget 2014, Michael Noonan, finance minister, announced that the transfer of shares listed on the Enterprise Securities Market (smaller growth companies) of Irish Stock Exchange would be exempt from stamp duty:

  • Falcon Oil and Gas;
  • Green REIT (real estate investment trust);
  • GameAccount Network;
  • Mincon;
  • Hibernia REIT

Eleven companies account for 91% of the ISEQ index with a market valuation of €62bn, headed by CRH at €13bn, which has its primary listing in London.

Finfacts: Irish Stock Exchange: Born in 1793 - slowly dying in 2013

Ryanair and Kerry Group followed with market capitalisations on Tuesday at €9bn each.

The total value of food and drinks companies on the exchange is €20bn compared with the closing market value of Nestlé of Switzerland yesterday at €172bn.

CRH shares rose 19% in 2013; Ryanair climbed 32% compared with Aer Lingus' rise of 16%; Kerry Group gained 27%; Paddy Power's share price fell 50 cent in the year to €62; Bank of Ireland added 121%; Aryzta advanced 45%; Glanbia rose 35%.

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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.

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