The ratio between stock market capitalisation and GDP is growing, returning to the pre-pandemic level. Equity investments are increasing, while the volume of investments in government bonds and other bonds is decreasing. The number of listed companies is rising; the profitability of Italian listed companies is improving markedly.
These are some of the elements that characterize the picture of the Italian Stock Exchange, as shown in the latest 2021 Consob Statistics Bulletin.
From the data of the Bulletin, published on Consob's website, the picture of a strongly recovering securities market emerges, which cancels the recessionary effect of the Covid pandemic recorded in 2020, recovering and exceeding the values of 2019.
Almost all indicators show a positive trend. Thanks to the strong increase in share prices, as at 31 December the overall capitalisation of Italian companies listed on the Stock Exchange has jumped forward by 20.3% on an annual basis. In relation to the Gross Domestic Product, the capitalisation of the Stock Exchange therefore rises to 33.2% from 29.3% at the end of December 2020.
The number of listed companies has grown (from 382 to 407), driven by the new admissions to listing on the AIM, the trading platform dedicated to small- and medium-sized enterprises (now renamed Euronext Growth Milan).
Investments in shares exceed the pre-pandemic level, preferably targeting foreign securities. At the same time, investments in government bonds and other bonds have fallen below the level of 2019. The profits of industrial companies listed on the main market (MTA) and on the AIM recorded a strong annual increase as at 31 December of last year, rising respectively to 13.2 billion euros (from 9.9 billion) and 221 million (from 79.5 million). The profits of banks (9.2 billion euros from the previous 0.4 billion), insurance companies (5.7 billion from 4.2 billion) and other financial companies (1.8 billion from 1.1 billion) also improved markedly.
On the other hand, the phenomenon of short sales has decreased (-13.8% on an annual basis of the net short positions as at 31 December 2021).
The securities portfolio held with Italian intermediaries (+1.4%) and household and corporate bank deposits (+25.1%) has grown. Positive collection (+12.2% to 429.4 billion euro) was recorded by the financial instruments of Italian intermediaries, while the collection of insurance products with a predominantly financial content by Italian intermediaries (-26% to 31.9 billion euro) declined.