Vienna Stock Exchange Experiences First Record Quarter Despite Global Uncertainties

PeopleOther ♦ Published: April 14, 2024; 23:23 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Vienna Stock Exchange closed the first quarter of 2024 with a remarkable increase in bond listings, although the economic environment continues to be characterized by high-interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and high inflation. Despite these challenges, the exchange recorded a record 3,000 new listings, the best start to a year in its history.

The Vienna Stock Exchange has maintained a strong market position despite challenging global economic conditions. / Picture: © Wiener Börse AG / VSE Vienna Stock Exchange

Equity turnover in the first quarter amounted to EUR 14.3 billion, although trading activity was adversely affected by the difficult conditions. Christoph Boschan, CEO of the Vienna Stock Exchange, explains that although stock exchange turnover was down compared to the rest of Europe, the stock exchange was able to compensate well for these losses thanks to successful business diversification. The shares with the highest turnover at the end of the quarter were Erste Group Bank AG, OMV AG, and Verbund AG, with Erste Group alone achieving a turnover of EUR 2.44 billion.

Increase in securities holdings in Austria

A study conducted by the Vienna Stock Exchange in cooperation with the Aktienforum and the Federation of Austrian Industries shows that more and more Austrians are investing in the capital market. Almost three-quarters (72%) of investors hold shares in Austrian companies, and the total number of investors has risen by 200,000 people or two percentage points compared to the previous year. "Given the unfavorable economic environment, the positive development in securities ownership is particularly remarkable," comments Boschan.

The CEO of the Vienna Stock Exchange emphasizes that a higher level of education correlates strongly with the ownership of securities, while the perceived lack of sound financial knowledge is often an obstacle to investing in securities. "It is clear that the need for widespread financial education is greater than ever to promote greater capital market integration among the population," emphasizes Boschan.

Outlook and strategies for growth

The addition of Jump Trading B.V. as a trading member boosts liquidity and increases the number of trading members to 69, demonstrating the attractiveness of the Vienna Stock Exchange as a trading venue. Boschan emphasizes the need for political reforms, in particular the reintroduction of a retention period for securities, to strengthen private pension provision and further promote the capital market.

Global stock market trends and recovery

At the same time, the EY IPO Barometer shows a positive development on the stock markets in Europe and America, with an increase in IPOs and a rise in issue volume. In Europe, the volume amounted to USD 5.9 billion, almost triple the previous year's figure. "The signs for another strong year for IPOs are favorable, driven by positive market sentiment and the prospect of falling interest rates," says Stefan Uher, Head of Assurance at EY Austria.

The Vienna Stock Exchange is demonstrating remarkable resilience and adaptability to difficult global conditions and continues to grow, particularly in the area of bond listings. This development, combined with a rising trend in securities ownership among Austrians, signals a strong commitment to promoting the domestic capital market and its integration into the global financial world.

Vienna Stock Exchange