The index of the Icelandic Stock Exchange (ICEX) continues to rise, on Wednesday it closed at 5,350, a 59.3% increase since the end of last year when it was 3,359. Morgunbladid compares the indexes of the major stock markets in neighboring countries which have increased from 14 – 50%; at the same time the FTSE index in London has gone up by 14.7%, the OMXS30 index in Stockholm has seen a 23.2% increase, and the OSEAX index in Oslo has increased 50% this year.
According to Morgunbladid the Icelandic stock market has sometimes been referred to as an emerging market and that is possibly reflected in the considerable appreciation of the stock index. Morgunbladid likens the different rates of increase of the various indexes to a teenager and an adult – the teenager is grows much faster and the Icelandic index could be considered an adolescent. Morgunbladid says that others believe this increase represents a bubble and, similar to all bubbles, will pop sooner than later.
The companies which have seen the greatest increase, more than doubled their market value, are food manufacturing company Bakkavör, 114%, and the bank Landsbankinn, 102%. FL Group has increased by 80%. According to Morgunbladid all companies that have increased have increased substantially. Of the companies that increased Jardborar experienced the slowest growth, 20%. Two companies decreased in value, food producer SÍF (14% decrease) and sleep diagnostic system provider Flaga Medcare (18% decrease).
Morgnbladid reports that 2005 will be a record year on the Icelandic Stock Exchange both in terms of value of the ICEX index and also trading volume. In November, trading volume in Icelandic shares reached one thousand thousand million króna.