Euronext, the pan-European stock market operator that owns the Dublin exchange, has launched a new futures contract on the Iseq-20, allowing investors to buy or sell exposure to the index of large Irish companies at agreed prices on specified future dates.
The product opens the Irish market to a form of trading that is standard across most western markets, coming a little over two years after Euronext acquired the Irish Stock Exchange, which was mainly focused on cash trading of stocks as well as the market listing of debt and funds.
The ISEQ 20 Index Future is the first product of this nature to be launched in the Irish market, following the migration of the trading of Irish shares to Euronext’s trading platform, Optiq, last year. Ireland is the last of Euronext’s markets to have a futures contract on its national stocks index. The company also runs the main markets in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Norway and Portugal.
The new future index complements Euronext Dublin’s core Irish equity offering by providing investors with an alternative way to gain exposure to the top 20 companies in the ISEQ 20 Index, while providing a way for investors to hedge their investments in the underlying market.
"Today's launch marks another proud milestone for Euronext Dublin. Since migrating to Euronext's Optiq trading platform last year, we have been committed to delivering more benefits and functionality to the Irish investment community and this product is another step forward on our roadmap," said Euronext Dublin's chief executive, Daryl Byrne. "We look forward to further enriching the Irish ecosystem with more innovations in the months ahead."
Companies listed on the Iseq-20 include the likes of building materials giant CRH, Bank of Ireland, AIB, cardboard box maker Smurfit Kappa, Ryanair and property company Hibernia Reit.