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BSX rose 13% in 2014

BSX CEO Greg Wojciechowski

It was lucky 13 for the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX) in 2014.

The Royal Gazette/BSX Index closed 12.99 per cent up on 2013, ending the year at 1,357.12 points, driven by an increase of about one third in the share price of the index’s biggest component, Butterfield Bank.

There were also some big losers on the BSX, with utilities Ascendant Group Ltd and KeyTech Ltd each seeing their share prices plunge by nearly half last year.

The BSX’s total market capitalisation stood at more than $455 billion, excluding collective investment vehicle listings, with a total of $1.95 billion representing the domestic market.

Total trading was also up — the year saw 12.5 million shares worth $37.4 million traded, compared to 10.2 million shares with a value of $30 million for the year before.

And the insurance-linked securities (ILS) juggernaut continued to influence the market — the number of ILS listed grew a massive 53 per cent, to a total of 118, up from 77 in 2013.

The value of these securities also went up by a hefty 64 per cent from $9.7 billion at the end of 2013 to nearly $16 billion at the end of last month.

There were winners and losers on the local market over the year.

The financial services sector did well. Butterfield Bank rallied strongly with its share price up to $1.99 at the end of 2014, compared to a price of $1.49 at close of play in 2013.

And Somers Ltd — which includes the Bermuda Commercial Bank among its interests — was up $2.25 cents between 2014 and 2014, from $12 to $14.25.

Shares of Ascendant Group, which includes power firm Belco, stood at $5.40 at the end of 2014, compared to $10.25 at the end of 2013.

Telecoms firm KeyTech also saw a fall over the year, down from $5.80 at year end in 2013 to $3 in December 2014.

And insurance firm Argus stood at $3.50 at year end, compared to $4.69 at the close of 2013.

But BF&M, another insurance firm, saw a slight rise — it’s price was up to $17.75 over the year from $17.01.

BSX CEO Greg Wojciechowski said: “I’m delighted with the place we find ourselves in as we begin 2015.

“The BSX team is energised and sees a variety of new opportunities on the horizon.

“I have every confidence that the hard work undertaken at the BSX and in Bermuda to create and sustain a reputable and respected commercial and regulatory environment will continue to drive commercial development and assist us in adding new lines of business and further elevate Bermuda’s position among the major global financial centres.”

Mr Wojciechowski added: “The year ended strongly with a record number of ILS listings and variety of new listed structures which indicate that the BSX continues to develop its reputation globally as an internationally recognised stock exchange platform.”

BSX chief compliance officer James McKirdy said an extra 97 securities were listed, while new listings applications for 146 securities were processed, including 56 ILS with a capitalisation value of $8.29 billion.

He added there were a total of 762 securities listed on the BSX at the end of 2014.

There were also 26 new collective investment vehicles, 18 international equities, 33 new derivatives and 13 fixed-income securities lists, along with 13 subsequent issues undertaken by existing listed issuers.

Mr McKirdy said: “There was growth across all sectors, including international equities, debt, derivatives and collective investment vehicle listings.”

Mr Wojciechowski said that the BSX had been a major sponsor and part of the organisation of the ILS Bermuda Convergence 2014 event held in November, which had cemented the Island’s position as an international centre of excellence in the sector.

He added: “The accomplishments of the BSX to date and in particular this year’s results are directly attributable to the hard work of a dedicated team of world class stock exchange professionals that manage and operate the exchange on a daily basis.

“The BSX team clearly understands the importance of a modern and solid domestic capital market and its contribution to the health of the Bermuda economy.

“The BSX team is committed to ensuring that Bermuda’s stock exchange platform remains the leader among its peers internationally while providing global capital market access and solid support for the continued development of Bermuda’s domestic capital market.”