It is known that the Icelandic stock market suffered a great deal in the crisis of 2008. After having reached its peak of 3495, the OMX Iceland All-Shares Index collapsed to its bottom at 167 on April 8, 2009, a fall of 95.2% from top to bottom. Since then, the market has steadily recovered and the index currently stands at 800. And while this might sound as a mediocre increase, there are also clear signs of rising interest among international investors in the market, specially regarding ESG opportunities. Swapp Agency will be able to guide you throughout the process of getting in touch with local market agents for any inquiry you may have.
The Icelandic market, a paradise of ESG investments
The Nasdaq Iceland, known in the past as the Iceland Stock Exchange (XICE), is the major market for security trading in the country. All domestic trading of bonds, equities and mutual funds takes place on the XICE. The Icelandic stock market is deeply connected with other norther Europe exchanges and is part of the NOREX alliance. This allows the cross-listing of stocks of the different members. Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden are part of NOREX.
The NOREX Alliance was unique by being the first stock exchange alliance to implement a joint system for equity trading and harmonize rules and requirements between the exchanges with respect to trading and membership.
Moreover, Nasdaq Iceland has launched a common INET trading platform across its seven Nordic and Baltic equity markets, giving investors great flexibility to access whichever market they want, with lower costs. This makes Iceland a much more accessible market than most believe.
Nasdaq Nordic, which includes the Nasdaq Iceland Stock Exchange, has committed to produce an overall corporate guidance on environmental, social and governance (ESG). Even though the Icelandic stock market is relatively illiquid, the need for investments that cover sustainability criteria makes Iceland a desirable and unexploited choice. Not only because the whole country is a leader in that matter, but also it represents an opportunity for portfolio managers seeking to capture alpha before others do. The market remains to be “cheap”, while the industry of sustainability is growing fast.
Pall Hardarson, Nasdaq Iceland‘s President, has stated that “Iceland is currently enjoying robust economic growth characterized by high levels of savings and investment and low inflation. As long as macroeconomic policy discipline is maintained I think we have a good chance of continuing tailwinds. In spite of successful IPOs in recent years, Icelandic companies have barely started to tap into the potential of the market as a springboard for growth.” The declarations came after a decade of leaving behind capital controls and the 2008 crisis. Hardarson pointed out that there are just eighteen companies listed in the exchange and all of them are industry leaders while being ESG responsible.
Get in touch with Icelandic professionals
To have an extensive consultancy relating ESG investments and the Icelandic stock market, contact Swapp Agency. We are a leading group of experts in diverse fields. Our professional team will be happy to assist you throughout the process of getting to know finance professionals or companies relating to the local stock market. Regardless of the industry or sector, we are prepared to solve all your inquiries.