Financials gain following resolution of CFD issue


Dublin Report: Irish stocks climbed for a second straight session, paced by financial shares, after the Revenue Commissioners said it was withdrawing a compliance notice that said stamp duty at 1 per cent would be levied on contracts for difference (CFDs).

The ISEQ Overall Index added 59.31 points to 8,066.10, with high volume in banking shares, after brokers viewed the stamp duty issue on CFDs as resolved.

A CFD is a type of derivative that enables an investor to take a position on a stock - and its likely performance - without actually owning shares. These contracts were considered exempt from stamp duty before the Revenue made its position clear on St Patricks' Day.

"There was no point putting this market at disadvantage," one dealer commented yesterday.

Anglo Irish Bank, a CFD stock, jumped 30 cent, or 2.3 per cent, to close at €13.60. More than 3.7 million shares in the bank were traded. AIB rose 18 cent, or 0.9 per cent, to €19.70.

Almost eight million shares of Independent News & Media changed hands, more than double the number traded the previous day, on continued speculation an investor is building a stake in the company. Including shares listed in London, more than 25 million shares were traded. The stock surged seven cent, or 2.7 per cent, to €2.67, after rising to as high as €2.70 in earlier trading.

Entrepreneur Denis O'Brien said in January he had bought 22.6 million shares in the group, equal to 3 per cent of its issued share capital.

Shares of building materials maker CRH also had a good run, climbing 30 cent, or 1.1 per cent, to €28.80. The Irish company commenced trading its American Depositary Shares (ADSs) on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

Irish Estates, the property and facilities management company, extended its rally after reporting on Thursday that earnings per share grew by 30 per cent in 2005 on a comparative basis. The stock surged 25 cent, or 8.6 per cent, to €3.15.