Iseq out-performs European peers in 2013

Irish index is top of the table returning 33.6% - but pre-crash investors are still sitting on losses

The Irish market was the best performing western European market in 2013 and the fifth best globally, with a return of 33.6 per cent. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The Irish market was the best performing western European market in 2013 and the fifth best globally, with a return of 33.6 per cent. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 09:46

The ISEQ out-performed its European peers in 2013, returning 33.6 per cent for the year, the strongest result for any western European benchmark, and the best return for the index since 1997, according to Davy Stockbrokers.

On a global basis, the Iseq ranks in fifth place for the year, behind Venezuela (+425%); Japan (+51.1%); Iceland (+38.5%); and Zambia (+37.2%), according to data provider Morningstar.

However, despite climbing to almost 4,600 by the end of 2013, the index, which lost some heavy-hitters during the year, including DCC and the Grafton Group, is still a long way off its peak of 10,041, which it hit in February 2007. This means that investors who bought into the Irish market ahead of the crash are still nursing sizeable losses.

According to Davy, the ISEQ gained 0.7 per cent in December, resulting in fourth quarter advance of 7.1 per cent, marking the sixth successive quarterly advance.

On a sectoral basis, industrials gained 1.7 per cent in December, bringing Q4 and 2013 returns to 6.4 per cent and 30.3 per cent respectively. Financials fell 10.2 per cent in the final month of the year, reducing Q4 and 2013 gains to 20.3 per cent and 110.6 per cent. Small caps fared poorly in December, rising 0.3 per cent, but surged 25.1 per cent in Q4 to deliver a gain of 52.5 per cent in 2013.