The Bucharest Stock Exchange’s benchmark BET index, which includes the most traded 19 companies, hit an all-time high on Tuesday (Dec. 28). The index closed up 1.61% to 13,015.33 points.
Tuesday marked the BET’s first close above 13,000 since its launch in September 1997. The total equity turnover of the BVB stood at 40.4 million lei (8.2 million euro) from 26.9 million lei on Monday (Dec. 27).
Transgaz, the Romanian state-controlled gas transporter, was the top blue-chip gainer, jumping 7.83% to 234 lei. Banca Transilvania, the first Romanian bank listed on the BVB and Romania’s largest lender by assets, advanced 2.15% to 2.61 lei in the day’s largest turnover of 8.64 million lei.
Natural gas producer Romgaz gained 2.11% to 39.8 lei in the day’s second largest turnover of 3.96 million lei. Nuclearelectrica, the state-owned operator of Romania’s sole nuclear power plant, climbed 3.69% to 46.4 lei in the day’s third largest turnover of 3.95 million lei.
The BET index is set to close 2021 with one of its best performances since its launch. It has also increased 3313 points or 33.78% since the beginning of the year, which makes it one of Europe’s top 10 best-performing country indices in 2021, according to data by TradingEconomics.com.
Three constituents of the BET index have seen their shares go up more than 100% in the past year: Teraplast, the largest Romanian producer of construction materials (+195%), Nuclearelectrica (+165%) and Medlife, one of the biggest private medical operators in Romania (+135%).
Another three companies that are part of the BET index also enjoyed above-average performances of 35-38% in the past year: OMV Petrom, the largest oil and gas group in Southeastern Europe, Romgaz, Romania’s biggest natural gas producer and supplier and Fondul Proprietatea, a joint stock company operating as an Alternative Investment Fund.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Alro, one of the largest vertically integrated aluminium producers in Europe was the BET’s worst performer in 2021 with a fall of almost 20%. Transgaz, Transelectrica and Electrica also recorded double-digit losses.
Despite the uncertainties generated by the Covid-19 and acceleration of inflation, the Romanian capital market was marked by an effervescence of listings and gained more consistency by expanding the number of companies present in international indices.
Romanian companies have become increasingly visible on the radar of international investors. Starting from September 20, 2021, Romania has five companies in the indices of the global index provider FTSE Russell: Banca Transilvania, Nuclearelectrica, OMV Petrom, TeraPlast in the indices FTSE Global All-Cap, and IT group Bittnet in the FTSE Global Micro-Cap index.
In order to keep the momentum of the current trend characterized by accelerated listings of financial instruments, BVB has approved the simplification of the listing procedure on the multilateral trading segment, a procedure that will enter into force at the beginning of next year.