Press releases 2006
28 March 2006
PRE-CLOSE PERIOD UPDATE
London Stock Exchange plc
Unless otherwise stated, the following commentary refers to the 11 months ended 28 February 2006 and, where appropriate, to the corresponding period last year.
London Stock Exchange plc (“the Exchange”) today issued its update ahead of the close period relating to the year ending 31 March 2006.
In summary, trading performance continues to be very strong, benefiting from increasingly positive trends in all core business areas:
- Total new issues up 25 per cent to 547; total money raised up 124 per cent to £18.2bn
- Average daily number of SETS bargains increased 29 per cent to 216,000 and average daily value traded up 29 per cent to £4.5bn
- Professional terminals at 87,000 - up 4,000 since February 2005 and 1,000 since December 2005
Of particular note is the recent acceleration of activity on SETS – in Q4 to date average daily SETS bargains are up 38 per cent to 272,000. January and February both delivered record levels of value and volume traded on SETS, which March will exceed.
Commenting on current trading and outlook, Clara Furse, Chief Executive, said:
“The strong performance of the first nine months of the financial year has improved further still in the last quarter and, as expected, we are on track to deliver an excellent outcome for the current financial year. In particular, the recent acceleration of growth on SETS means that trading in March will exceed all previous records by a significant margin. Our business goes from strength to strength creating more value by the day.”
The total number of new issues grew strongly in the eleven months to 28 February 2006, increasing 25 per cent to 547 (2005: 436). New issues on the Main Market rose 30 per cent to 95 (2005: 73) and on AIM, the world’s most successful growth market, they increased 23 per cent to 448 (2005: 363).
Reflecting the Exchange’s position as the international listing venue of choice, the total number of overseas companies joining our markets was up 77 per cent at 131 (2005: 74).
Total money raised on our markets more than doubled during the period at £18.2bn (2005: £8.1bn).
At 28 February 2006, the total number of companies on the Exchange’s markets was 3,099 (2005: 2,865) of which 1,426 companies were traded on AIM (2005: 1,065), up 34 per cent on the previous year. There were 561 international companies from 65 countries listed on the Exchange’s markets at the end of the period.
Growth on SETS, the electronic order book, accelerated over the period, benefiting from a secular shift in the pattern of trading, facilitated by investment by the Exchange in a new technology platform. Eighteen of the twenty busiest trading days ever recorded on SETS occurred following the introduction of Infolect in September and an increase in trading capacity in October. Trading in March will break previous records by a significant margin.
In the eleven months to 28 February 2006, the average daily number of SETS bargains increased 29 per cent to 216,000 (2005: 167,000) and average daily value traded increased 29 per cent to £4.5bn (2005: £3.5bn). Record levels were achieved in January (258,000 bargains/day; £5.6bn), and again in February (267,000 bargains/day; £5.8bn). Very strong growth on SETS has followed in March, with average daily bargains to date of 293,000 (2005: 207,000), up 42 per cent.
The average value of a SETS bargain during the period was steady at £21,000 (2005: £21,000). At just over £1.50, the average SETS yield was broadly in line with the same period last year.
In the circular to shareholders dated 17 February 2006, the Exchange stated that the average number of trades per day on SETS is expected to increase by at least 50 per cent in financial year 2007 and 100 per cent in financial year 2008, relative to financial year 2005. The rate of growth in average SETS bargains per day achieved so far in Q4 – 38 per cent to 272,000 (2005: 197,000) – is well ahead of the rate required to meet these targets.
Reflecting very strong performance by SETS, the average total number of equity bargains per day increased 28 per cent to 341,000 (2005: 266,000). Total value traded was £5.1tn, up 19 per cent on the previous year (2005: £4.3tn).
The average number of off-book bargains was 46,000 per day (2005: 48,000) and the average number of international bargains was 78,000 per day (2005: 51,000).
Demand for real-time data continues to grow steadily and at 28 February 2006, the total number of terminals receiving Exchange data was 102,000, an increase of 8,000 over the same point last year (28 February 2005: 94,000). Of the total, approximately 87,000 terminals were attributable to the professional user base, up 4,000 since February 2005 and 1,000 since the end of 2005 (31 December 2005: 86,000; 28 February 2005: 83,000).
Recent initiatives also delivered additional growth. At 28 February, Proquote had 3,000 screens, an eleven per cent increase on the same time last year (28 Feb 2005: 2,700 screens).
SEDOL Masterfile, the Exchange’s global securities numbering service, continues to perform very well, with over 1,100 licences signed and 1.1 million securities covered.
The total number of contracts traded on EDX during the first 11 months of the year increased strongly by 16 per cent to 19.8 million (2005: 17.1 million). The average number of contracts per day for the period was 85,000, up 15 per cent on the previous year (2005: 74,000).
Further information is available from:
John Wallace - Media 020 7797 1222
Paul Froud - Investor Relations 020 7797 3322
Lyndal Kennedy - Investor Relations 020 7797 3322