Irish Stock Exchange launches ISEQ® IEX Index

Irish Stock Exchange launches ISEQ® IEX Index

The Irish Stock Exchange launches three new indices which provide further index coverage and investor profile as well as benchmarking of the performance of companies trading in the Irish equity market.

New ISEQ® IEX Index shows year to date return of over 40%

The ISEQ® IEX Index will track the performance of the 25 Irish based companies which trade on the Irish Enterprise Exchange - the ISE market for smaller growth companies. These companies which currently have a combined value of over €780m will be weighted in the index based on their market capitalisation i.e. the overall value of their shares. A wide range of enterprises are represented in the index from resource companies to food companies to service related companies.

A review of the performance of the ISEQ® IEX Index year to date shows that a €1,000 investment on 1st January 2009 would be valued at over €1400 today, a return of over 40% indicating the growth of this sector in the Irish market.

Conor Foley, Chief Executive of Worldspreads Group plc, said “We are delighted to see the launch of the ISEQ® IEX index which we expect to enhance our visibility with international institutional investors.”

Two new ISEQ® 20 indices

In addition to the ISEQ® IEX index, the ISE is also launching two new ISEQ® 20 based indices, the ISEQ® 20 Capped Index and the ISEQ® 20 Leveraged Strategy Index. Both indices have the same constituents as the existing ISEQ® 20 index which is made up of the 20 most traded Irish companies trading on the Exchange.

While the existing ISEQ® 20 caps the maximum weighting of any one company in the index at 20%, the Capped Index limits the maximum weighting to 9% thereby providing a greater spread of companies in the index.

The ISEQ® 20 Leveraged Strategy Index is a benchmark index for strategic investors in the ISEQ® 20 index and assumes an investment which is equally made up of cash and borrowings. This allows an investor to double the return on the ISEQ® 20’s performance less any cost associated with related borrowings. The effect of this is that any movement in the ISEQ® 20 Index is magnified in the Leveraged Index. This applies to both increases and decreases in the value of the index.

Deirdre Somers, Chief Executive of the Irish Stock Exchange, said “The launch of these new indices is a positive step forward for the Exchange and the Irish equity market generally. The ISEQ® IEX Index should elevate the profile of IEX companies, particularly at this time when Irish companies need access to a broad base of international and domestic investors to fund their growth. The new ISEQ® 20 Indices give rise to exciting opportunities for the creation of index based financial products, such as exchange traded funds, that enable investors gain access to the Irish market and enhance trading in the underlying shares”.