Argentina's stock market ended 2006 with an unprecedented yearly average increase of 35 percent which placed it among the world's top ten performers, the Argentine Institute for Capital Markets (IAMC, in its Spanish acronym), said in a report. Several other world markets also reached record highs.
The local blue chip MerVal index nearly trebled its 2005 gain of 12 percent, what is generally attributed to favourable international macroeconomic conditions that contributed to Argentina's economy growing an average of nine percent each of the last four years. In 2004 the MerVal had gained 28 percent. Yearly turnover in 2006 was about 43 million dollars, 10 percent below that of 2005, which had set a record since the 2002 devaluation of the peso amid the country's worst-ever economic crisis. The MerVal showed high volatility during the year, climbing at times to record highs to suffer subsequent corrections, which affected turnover. The lower 2006 turnover is mainly explained by a 15 percent decline in turnover in public bonds, and a 20 percent decline in turnover in shares. The other nine markets growing the most in 2006 were Venezuela (141 percent), Indonesia (65), Russia (65), Spain (48), Philippines (47), Brazil (42), Mexico (41), Germany (33) and Chile (33 percent). Argentina's leading stock in 2006 was Tenaris ÃÂ¢€" of the local Techint Group ÃÂ¢€" the world's largest manufacturer of seamless steel tube for the oil industry, which rose 110 percent. Banco Macro, gained 70 percent, Pampa Holding 53 and Telecom 51 percent. The construction, car and steel sector shares were the best performers, with the banking and energy sectors also performing well. "2006 leaves behind a very good balance. The real, fiscal, foreign and monetary sectors performed very well and that was reflected in the fixed and variable income markets," the IAMC said. Public bonds rose an average 21 percent while fixed term bank deposits gained 9.75 percent. Fixed income securities adjustable for inflation, and bonds linked to GDP growth trebled their value during the year. Most figures in this report have been rounded. (MercoPress)