The Oslo Børs Benchmark Index gained 23.6 %, making 2013 the best year for Oslo Børs since 2009.
The OBX Index, which consists of the 25 most traded securities on Oslo Børs, gained 22.7 %. 2013 was also the best year for this index since 2009, which saw the start of the recovery from the financial crisis. Since its low point in 2018, the OBX Index has shown a sizeable increase of 223.4 %.
More stable returns
Looking at the history of share prices since 1995, a normal year for the OBX Index has produced a return of 10.9% (annual geometric return). Over recent years the annual return for Oslo Børs has shown less variation than in earlier years, with longer periods between "extreme" years. Over the period since 1995 there have been eight years with a bigger increase in share prices than in 2013. Four of these were "extreme" years, with share prices up by more than 40 %.
Annual return for the OBX Index:
Healthcare and IT were the strongest sectors
The Healthcare index showed a notable gain of 96.6 % in 2013, making it the strongest performer among the sector indices. The increase of 131.8 % in Algeta’s share price was the major contributor to this sector's performance. Opera Software made the biggest contribution to the gain of 66.3 % achieved by the IT sector. Bank and insurance also had a good year, and the Financials index gained 49.5 %.
While the stock market climbed to new highs, the oil price closed the year at the same level as 12 months ago. Although the oil price is at a historically high level, the flat performance in 2013 held back oil shares, and the Energy index had to be satisfied with an increase for the year of 10 %. Statoil, which is the largest listed company and so has the largest effect on the indices in which it is included, saw a 11.1 % increase in its share price for 2013.
The most active of the Nordic capital markets
Among the Nordic stock exchanges, Oslo Børs has the most new listings and the most active capital market. 2013 saw 12 new listings on the Oslo Børs marketplaces. By way of comparison, there were 17 new listings in total on the other Nordic exchanges in 2013.
In addition, companies listed on Oslo Børs make much more active use of the capital market than is the case for other Nordic exchanges. Companies listed on Oslo Børs raised NOK 20 billion of new share capital in 2013, which was NOK 1.5 billion higher than in 2012.
Companies admitted to listing during the course of the year helped to boost the amount of capital raised. When it was admitted to listing in November BW LPG issued shares to raise NOK 3.1 billion, which was the largest new issue in the Norwegian stock market since 2011.
Bond market still steaming ahead
New issue activity in the Norwegian bond market is running at record levels. The Norwegian bond market has grown rapidly over recent years, and new issue activity has set new records year after year. The growth of the bond market reflects changes in the banking market, with the banks having to reduce their participation in financing business and industry. This has resulted in companies making greater use of the securities market and the stock exchange to raise loan capital.
The total raised in the bond market over the first 11 months of the year was NOK 246 billion, which was NOK 24 billion lower than the record set in 2012. These figures exclude government borrowing. (The statistics for December will be available a few days into the New Year).
Growth in trading activity in shares and derivatives
The autumn saw a sharp increase in the volume of share trading, following moderate volumes in the summer months and a subdued start to the year. The daily average value of trading transactions in 2013 was NOK 3.5 billion, with a daily average of 73,000 trades.
The level of activity in the derivatives market also showed a strong increase in 2013 in pace with the improvement seen in share trading turnover. The average daily number of derivatives contracts traded was just under 47,000, as compared to a daily average of 43,100 in 2012. In addition, 9,000 contracts for flexible TM (Tailor Made) derivatives were traded on the Oslo Connect marketplace on average each day. Growth in interest in derivatives was particularly apparent for stock derivatives, both in futures/forwards and option contracts, but OBX Index options also showed sound growth.
Comprehensive statistics and up-to-date information for all the products listed and traded on the Oslo Børs marketplaces can be found on the Oslo Børs website:www.oslobors.no