Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Iceland's Market Issues

Think the American market is doing poorly? Well, the volatility is something to behold, but at least it's not Iceland.

Shares opened trading today down seventy-seven percent. That's hard to get your head around; it wasn't unanticipated, though, as Icelandic officials closed the market after last Wednesday's trading and just reopened it this morning. Iceland's government had seized three banks, and that's what the market had to say about it when it finally opened up again.

Russia is looking to provide support-- the IMF has been contacted as well. But volume on the exchange is low-- 1.5M by American morning time, compared to a usual 245M-- is there that much lower to go, especially if no one is trading? Would standing pat and riding it out be an option considering the volume stats?

Just for a sense of scale, I was looking for the total market cap of the Icelandic Stock Market, but came up short after a brief look. Tom, do you have a place to go for info like this?

And you can't undervalue the impact of being tied to Russia in the foreseeable future; clearly, they're in it to buy an ally.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Not sure if this link will paste, but I googled "icex market cap" and came up with this: http://news.icex.is/newsservice/MMIcexNSWeb.dll/newspage?language=IS&pagetype=latest&primarylanguagecode=EN&newsnumber=34774

For even more seriousness, see this:

"It's one thing for your market to be down 77% on the day. (A rather serious thing-- interesting comment on the usefulness, or lack thereof, of trading halts). It's another all together when the supermarkets are bare. And this time, it seems they really are. Rumors to this effect before seemed overblown, but our friend in Reykjavik told us by telephone last night that shortages are quite frightfully real, and that the run on the currency makes the obviously import-dependent nation a scary place to be."