Thursday, April 09, 2009

The ISX Phenomenon

I saw this graph on Iraq Stock Exchange and thought I should share. It represents the ISX index monthly closing figures between November 2004 and February 2009. The picture speaks for itself.

Given the direction of developments in Iraq over the last two years there is no irony at all. In fact I see that the image quite accurately reflects the ups and downs of the period represented in the graph—not just in the economy, but in every aspect of life. The irony, however, is striking if we are to compare this with markets elsewhere under the global economic crisis!

If there's only one stock market has made significant gains in 2009 then it is Iraq’s. While the size of the market and transaction taking place within it are tiny, the percentage of growth is amazing.

As you can see, between August 2008 and January 2009, the market index gained approximately 60% more points. By the end of February 2009 it had more than doubled again. Now if we add the gains made through March, the line would skyrocket beyond the limits of the chart.

Of course growth in a market where only $4-5 million worth of stocks are exchanged each session does not mean much in absolute figures. It reflects, however, the potentials of the economy and the rate at which progress can happen once conditions are favorable.