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Irish Stock Exchange is ‘at a crossroads’ says leading corporate financier Back  
The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) is ‘at a crossroads’, according to Peter Crowley, chief executive of IBI Corporate Finance, and the further concentration of the ISEQ index on a small number of large financial stocks is not a healthy sign for the exchange, he added.

Crowley was speaking at a Reuters Ireland Summit, where he also said that apart from the possible flotation of Aer Lingus, there are few new entrants on the horizon. ‘We may get Airtricity listing, we might get Smurfit Kappa listing in time, and the flow of smaller companies onto the IEX market does offer some hope. But there is also the possibility of the trend of public companies being taken private continuing,’ he said. He added that for the exchange itself, its position as a small exchange in the global consolidation of stock markets remains unclear.

Referring to the investment climate, Crowley said that wealthy high net worth (HNW) Irish investors are likely to move their attention from the current concentration on Irish and overseas property, and more into broader corporate deals. Noting that high net worth Irish investors have become key players in overseas property deals, Crowley said that these investors are now beginning to diversify into non-property investments.

‘Wealthy Irish investors will continue to look abroad for property opportunities, but many of these investors are now taking the view that it is also time to diversify their assets. A desire for a higher return and increases in interest rates are likely to focus investors’ eyes back on the equity risk premium in broader corporate deals,’ he said.

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