Traded volume falls 15.4%
PANAMA. Bolsa de Valores de Panama (BVP), Panama’s Stock Exchange, closed off 2008 with $1,932 million of traded volume, 15. 4 percent ...
PANAMA. Bolsa de Valores de Panama (BVP), Panama’s Stock Exchange, closed off 2008 with $1,932 million of traded volume, 15. 4 percent lower than 2007’s closure.
The reason behind this fall: the global financial crisis.
In the first three trimesters of 2008, BVP registered a growth higher than in 2007.
But the last three months were enough to reverse the trend.
The general manager of the BVP, Roberto Brenes, explained that the volume of stocks was the same, but the fall was due to their reduced value.
BVP commissions also decreased by 5 percent at the end of 2008.
Commissions amounted to $1,238 million in 2007, while they decreased to $1,173 million on 2008.
To sum up, the annual revenues in 2008 decreased by 19 percent, while in 2007 it increased 1.5 percent.
Not everything in 2008 was bad news. Repurchases showed an “interesting” growth, said Brenes
With a rise of $145.9 million, repurchases are used as a method of financing.
24 new corporate issuers were added to the exchange, three more than in 2007.
New issues amounted to more than $900 million in 2008, similar to the previous year.
“We are in a critical year when it comes to integration,” said Brenes, referring to the expansion project of the stock exchanges of countries in the region.
Brenes explained that the process now “depends on the regulatory entities of the countries.
He said that in Panama the laws are more flexible compared withother countries in the region, “but there has to be uniformity in regulation.”
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE CRISIS
According to Brenes, the first months of 2009 “are going to be tough,” but he considers that they will bring opportunities.
He explained that faced with banking restrictions, the stock world offers liquidity tools for financing, and additionally, more profitability for those with capital.
“Banks are increasing interest rates, but not the rate to depositors,” he explained.
Similarly, he said, without mentioning the name of the company, that an important company of foreign capital will issue $100 million in bonds to capture capital in this market.
Brenes also does not exclude that in the future close to $400 million of Canal bonds could be issued.
This would open up an opportunity for local investors, he said.