Listed companies and financial intermediation in 2020In the first half of 2021, the capitalization of Italian companies with shares admitted to trading on regulated markets or on Italian multilateral trading systems (hereinafter referred to as "Italian listed companies") recorded an increase of 19.9% compared to same period of 2020, settling at a slightly higher level than the pre-pandemic level (end of 2019). This was mainly due to the increase in market prices (the Ftse All Share Italy index recorded a growth of 13.8% in the first half of 2021). The ratio between capitalization and GDP went from 32% at the end of 2020 to 34.8% at the end of June 2021. The Italian listed companies increased from 382 to 389, due to admissions to listing on AIM.
Italian non-financial companies listed on the MTA and those listed on AIM recorded a strong increase in profits of approximately 11.1 billion euros and 75.9 million euros respectively, compared to a profit of approximately 1.8 billion euros and a loss of approximately 30.3 million euros in the first half of the previous year. Cash flows turned positive both for non-financial companies listed on the MTA (around 361.2 million euros) and for those listed on AIM (around 158 million euros) which, thanks to higher depreciation, recorded more operating flows important. The resources obtained financed investments for 8.8 billion euros (7.4 in the first half of 2020) for companies listed on the MTA and 303.9 million euros (207 in the first half of 2020) for those listed on AIM. The short-term net financial position for Italian non-financial companies listed on the MTA improved slightly, -2.8%, while the companies listed on the AIM held liquid assets higher than short-term liabilities at the end of the half-year.
Insurance company listed on the MTA recorded an increase in net profit in the first half of 2021 (2.5 billion euros compared to 1.5 billion in the first half of 2020). This is attributable to the greater profitability of the financial management of investments (which went from -0.04% in the first half of 2020 to 2.1%), partially offset by the insurance management of technical provisions (which went from 1.2% in the first half of 2020). 2020 at -1.1%). Insurance companies increased the financial leverage used as shareholders' equity decreased (-2.6%) while investments increased slightly (+ 0.2%) as did technical reserves (0.8%). Net flows generated by operating and investing activities decreased (from 11.6 billion in the first half of 2020 to 10.5 billion in the first half of 2021) and were offset by a reduction in loans granted (which went from 1, 6 to 1.5 billion) and investment activity which went from 9.3 to 8.5 billion). The ratio between financial assets available for sale and those valued at fair value has decreased, signaling a gradual return to investment in less liquid securities.
Banks listed on the MTA recorded a very positive profitability in the first half of 2021 (profits of around 7.5 billion euros compared to around one hundred million in the first half of 2020 and an overall profitability of 8.5 billion euros compared to 761 million euros in the first half of 2020). This higher profitability affected all the main operating activities. Against a slight reduction in the interest margin of approximately 400 million euros, there was an increase in net commissions for approximately 1.6 billion, a reduction in adjustments due to risk credit for approximately 3 billion euros and an improvement in the fair value valuations of financial assets and liabilities. The latter, instead of being negative as in the first half of 2020 (-700 million euros), turned out to be positive for 500 million euros. In 2020, the shareholders' equity of listed banks amounted to € 180.8 billion (+ 9.2% compared to the first half of 2020).
From the analysis of exchanges on the spot stock market, a greater stability of investment positions emerges. The value of exchanges of shares of Italian listed companies on regulated markets and multilateral trading systems in Italy and abroad fell by 16.9% compared to the first half of 2020 and the value of non-deliveries (fail) in the settlement phase on the MTA was equal to 4.4% of the turnover (in the first half of 2020 it was equal to 4.6%).
On the forward market at the end of June 2021, the notional value of trading in equity derivatives decreased by 21.1% for all instruments excluding equity options; the notional value of open positions on equity derivatives, even though it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, grew by 12.7% compared to the first half of 2020. On commodity derivatives, the reduction in the notional value of trades (covered warrants) was more pronounced (-32%) and the positions open at the end of June 2021 on futures on electricity were in sharp decline (-76%) compared to the figure at the end of June 2020.
In the first half of 2021, net short positions fell by 20.1% compared to the figure for the first half of 2020, going from 0.8% to 0.6% in relation to trading. For companies in the financial sector, this figure at the end of the first half of 2021 was equal to 0.3% of the sector capitalization (0.9 at the end of the first half of 2020).
The margins set up by members of the central counterparty system relating to Italian regulated markets were slightly lower (-4.2%) than the value at the end of the first half of 2020.
On the bond market in the first half of 2021, the turnover of Italian government securities increased significantly by 119.7% on Italian trading platforms, mainly due to the increase in trading on MTS (+ 191.3%) but also due to the continuation of the purchase interventions connected to the monetary policy implemented on the Bondvision market. On the other hand, there was a contraction both in the number of Italian issuers of bonds other than government bonds traded on secondary markets (-79.9%) and in the relative turnover (-39.9%), mainly attributable to a decline in trading on the EuroTLX market (-45.4%).
ETFs and securitized derivative financial instruments (ETCs / ETNs) were also traded less than in the first half of 2020, recording a reduction in the turnover (-16.1%), essentially attributable to the reduction in exchanges of exchange traded funds (-13.8%).
With regard to the bonds of Italian non-state issuers in the first half of 2021, trading decreased by 40.3%, this figure is attributable to the trading of bonds of financial issuers. Also on the primary market, in the first half of 2021, there was a 27% reduction in bond issues by Italian banks (compared to the first half of 2020), due to both public offers on the domestic market (- 15.4%) and private offers to institutional investors (-38.4%).
At the end of the first half of 2021, the value of financial instruments held with Italian intermediaries for the provision of investment and asset management services had increased by 4.69% compared to the figure at the end of 2020. This was a higher change than the increase in same period of deposits referring to Italy for households and non-financial businesses (+ 2.9%); this indicates a limited rebalancing of investments following the growth of the equity component. Equity investment has exceeded pre-pandemic levels but internally preferences for foreign stocks have grown steadily. During the first half of 2021, the weight of investment in Italian government bonds continued to decrease, reaching values lower than those before the pandemic. In the first half of 2021, the importance of investment in UCITS and AIF units increased, especially for retail customers.
The volumes of activity relating to the provision of investment services decreased overall in the first half of 2021 (trading on own account -32.8%, receipt and transmission of orders -3.5% and order execution -14.5 %) with the exception of the placement of financial instruments which increased by 17.5%, mainly due to the placement of UCIs. Gross premiums deriving from the placement of insurance products with a prevalently financial content distributed in Italy by Italian intermediaries supervised by Consob, on the other hand, decreased (-2.6%), due to the decline in premiums of capitalization products.
At the end of the first half of 2021, the assets managed by Italian intermediaries had grown compared to the end of 2020 (+1.2%) mainly related to asset management (+1%) which represent over 71.3% of the total. In particular, the assets of foreign open-end UCIs placed in Italy grew by 10.4%, while that of Italian open-end UCIs by 4%. Assets under management referable to closed-end UCITS under Italian law remained stable (-0.5%) and that relating to pension funds and other pension forms set up in Italy by companies other than insurance companies grew by 7.9%.
In the first half of 2021 net inflows from Italian open-end UCIs were positive for 4 billion euros, mainly for balanced funds (+5.6 billion euros), and offset the repayments on flexible funds for 1.7 billion euros.
The half-year 2021 accounting data of the Italian asset management companies showed a strong recovery in net profit compared to the first half of 2020 (+ 89.9%), mainly due to the strong increase in the result of financial management (+31.2 %) mainly linked to the growth in net commissions (+ 24.5%) but also to the limited growth in operating costs (+ 2.5%). The growth in the net profit of the financial investment companies was equally strong (+ 187.7%) due to the greater increase in the result of financial management (+ 38.4%) driven by commissions and the limited increase in operating costs (+9, 9%). Profits from equity investments and from groups of assets in the process of being divested were also important (17 billion euros and generated 12.6% of the total profit).
The Report was prepared by:
Gaetano N. Finiguerra (supervisor) - CONSOB, Head of Statistics Office, Research Department (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Renato Grasso (coordinator) - CONSOB, Statistics Office, Research Department (email@example.com)
Emilio Ciccone - CONSOB, Statistics Office, Research Department (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Simona Di Rocco - CONSOB, Statistics Office, Research Department (email@example.com)
Francesco Scalese - CONSOB, Statistics Office, Research Department (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fabrizio Figoni - CONSOB, Statistics Office, Research Department (email@example.com)
Thanks to Lucia Pierantoni for her collaboration (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Editorial secretary: Andrea Cianciullo
For information and clarifications write to: Ufficio.Statistiche@consob.it