Bulgarian blue chip index adds 15.5% in 2017, turnover sharply up

Bulgarian blue chip index adds 15.5% in 2017, turnover sharply up hxdbzxy/Shutterstock.com

SOFIA (Bulgaria), January 12 (SeeNews) - The blue-chip SOFIX index of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) gained 15.52% to 677.45 points in 2017, after adding 27.24% a year earlier, amid a pickup in trading volume, bourse data showed.

Total regulated market turnover rose to 705.85 million levs ($438.2/360.9 million) in 2017 from 416.0 million levs in 2016.

As many as 401.5 million shares changed hands in 79,629 deals throughout 2017.

The average daily regulated market turnover was 2.8 million levs, up from 1.7 million levs in 2016.

Trade in SOFIX components generated 45.48% of the total turnover on the BSE's regulated market in 2017.

Among blue chips, drug maker Sopharma [BUL:3JR] generated the largest turnover in 2017, of 90.6 million levs, as 21.6 million of its shares changed hands throughout the year.

In December, one of Sopharma's major shareholders - local Rompharm Company, decreased its stake in the drug maker to 9.41% by selling 9.7 million Sopharma shares, equivalent to a 7.2% stake, for an undisclosed price.

Among the 15 constituents of the blue-chip SOFIX index, only three saw their share price fall in 2017.

Financial and insurance group Eurohold Bulgaria [BUL:4EH] was the biggest contributor to the growth of the blue-chip index. The group's shares appreciated 131.76% to 1.474 levs in 2017.

Diversified group Doverie United Holding [BUL:5DOV] was the second biggest blue-chip gainer last year, as its share price picked 84.05% to 2.1 levs.

First Investment Bank [BUL:5F4] posted the third largest increase in share price among the blue chips, adding 71.39% to 5.656 levs per share.

On the opposite end, software developer Sirma Group Holding [BUL:SKK] recorded the largest drop in its share price - by 6.04% to 1.088 levs.

Fertilisers producer Neochim [3NB] posted a 5.87% decrease to 55.0 levs, while diversified group Industrial Holding Bulgaria [BUL:4ID] lost 5.58% to 0.948 levs.

There were no new initial public offerings (IPO) on the BSE in 2017, as compared to one in 2016. Secondary public offerings numbered two versus three in 2016.

The BSE's total market capitalisation soared 143.95% to 23.62 billion levs ($14.7 billion/12.1 billion) in 2017, equivalent to 24.08% of the country's GDP.

The market capitalisation of the Premium Equities Segment rose 33.89% to 2.30 billion levs in 2017, while the Standard Equities Segment registered a 235.56% increase to 19.35 billion levs, mainly thanks to the secondary offering of real estate investment company Capital Concept Limited (CCL) [BUL:WCO].

After listing 2.15 billion CCL shares on the Standard Equities Segment in October, CCL closed the year at 6.0 levs per share, translating into market capitalisation of 12.91 billion levs, the biggest on the Sofia bourse.

CCL engages in acquisition, management, valuation and sale of interest in Bulgarian and international companies. In August, the Bulgarian government renewed the investment project certificate of CCL's subsidiary - Bulgaria Development Holdings Limited, for development of an entertainment and business complex near Sofia, expected to be worth over 1.5 billion euro.

The BG REIT index of the Sofia bourse, which tracks the performance of real estate investment trusts, gained 7.39% in 2017, ending the year at 116.10 points. All seven constituents of the index saw their share price increase. Super Borovets Property Fund [BUL:6SB] gained the most - 19.6% to a closing price of 1.8 levs per share.

The BSE's broader BG BX40 index, which tracks the 40 most traded shares, rose 15.52% to 677.45 points, while the BG TR30 index, in which companies with a free float of at least 10% have equal weight, added 21.08% to 555.98 points.

There were nine new corporate bond issues listed on the bourse in 2017, compared to eight the year before.

A total of 12 capital hikes were carried out on the BSE in 2017, up from seven a year earlier.

The BSE also saw the admission to trading of 20 issues of government securities in November. The securities have a total face value of 5.5 billion levs.

By the end of 2017, three transactions with government securities occurred on the Sofia bourse, generating a total turnover of 664,700 levs.

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