Letter from the Chairman

Annual Report

Dear Shareholder,

In 2015, tension in the international financial markets increased, resulting in greater volatility in share prices and Corporate and Public Debt.

Factors such as the rising disparity between monetary policies of the main central banks; the weakness in certain economies and areas, particularly emerging markets; falling commodity prices; Greece’s talks with the euro area; or geopolitical tension, all helped generate uncertainty in the global financial system which has remained highly liquid and showed it had faith in the central banks’ powers and monetary policies to be able to get the economies back on track.

The key areas of activity: capitalisation, trading, channelled financing and Shareholder remuneration, have reached important levels.

Antonio Zoido, Presidende de BME
Antonio Zoido, BME's Chairman.

Capitalisation over one trillion

Capitalisation remained over one trillion euros for the third year running, something not seen since before the crisis. This puts the Spanish exchange in the group of bourses with the highest capitalisation of its listed companies. From the lows of 2012, and excluding companies domiciled abroad, Spanish listed companies have seen their value increase by 375 billion euros.

Trading continues to improve

Trading levels have risen, standing at 962 billion euros, 8.9% higher than 2014. This puts the figure close to one trillion for the first time since 2010. The average cash amount per trade was 15,528 euros, the highest for the past three years. The number of trades remains close to record highs, at around 62 million.

More Fixed Income issues

Very low interest rates and market uncertainty caused volatility in global Public and Corporate Debt markets to spike. Bond prices in the global Corporate Fixed Income markets also declined, triggering higher yields which, unlike Public Debt, have barely recovered at the end of the year.

In 2015, activity in the Spanish corporate Fixed Income market continued adjusting and the outstanding balance of issues declined to below 540 billion, 38% less than at the end of 2012. Trading totalled 514.78 billion euros in 2015, 53% less than the same period in 2014, mainly due to low interest rates and the above mentioned reduction in balance.

The primary bond market is gradually returning to normal, with a 27% increase in new issues.

IBEX 35 Futures strong

The total number of Futures and Options contracts traded in MEFF was down 15% but up 5% in terms of underlying nominal volume. The market’s main product, the IBEX 35 Future, was up for the third consecutive year while the volume of futures and options on individual shares declined.

Top shares in Europe by liquidity

Spanish listed companies are not only a benchmark in terms of their business and valuations, they are also favoured for their liquidity. Santander is once again the most liquid stock on the Euro Stoxx and is accompanied by Telefónica, BBVA, Iberdrola and Inditex.

Record foreign participation

Foreign investors are increasingly attracted to the market. Foreign investors own 44.1% of all listed Spanish equities and provisional figures for the first half of 2015 make this a new record.

Greater confidence in equities in households

Individual investors have also returned to the market. Households now own 26% of the listed shares, the highest level for 12 years and double that of the European Union as a whole.

The Stock Market channels more investment flows

Foreign and individual investors have entrusted the Exchange to channel their savings and offer a return. Likewise, more and more companies are choosing the market as a means of financing and to help grow. In 2015, total investment flows channelled by the Spanish stock market exceeded 41.5 billion, up 15% on the 2014 figure.

The market has always offered a high financing pace, even in the midst of the crisis, helping companies secure finance. Since 2008 companies have tapped over 242 billion euros through the Spanish exchange.

Record number of listings

The number of new listings has remained constant throughout the year. We had 7 new companies come to the market, with a further 16 joining the MAB, eight of these were SOCIMIs.

Record year for alternative markets

More and more companies are seeking financing on the alternative markets, a clear indication that these systems are meeting their requirements.

The MAB had a record year and now has 34 companies. In 2015, this trading segment channelled over 110 million. This is indeed good news but still well off its potential.

Positive performance of MARF

Issues on the MARF topped 757 million euros in 2015, 81% more than in 2014. This brings the total to 1.27 billion euros after just two years for this market, where different products with different terms are traded, offering investors a wide range of options.

Antonio J. Zoido

Antonio Zoido, Presidende de BME
Antonio Zoido, BME's Chairman.