According to the CBS total return index for shares quoted on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, last year was not such a good year for investors in Dutch shares. Following a correction in February for the fall in share prices in January, the index reached its highest value of the year at the beginning of September. After that it started to fall, picking up speed in the last two months of the year. At the end of 2000 share prices were 2% lower than at the beginning of the year.
CBS total return index (end of month)
This is the first time since 1990 that the return on shares, including dividend payments in the calendar year, has been negative. Since 1980, when the CBS total return index was introduced, there have only been two years in which the returns were lower: -18% in 1987 and–13% in 1990.
New economy suffered most
The negative return on shares in 2000 was mainly caused by falls in share prices of companies in the so-called 'new' economy sector. The largest losses were incurred by telecom companies and many IT companies. Shares in companies making up the 'old' economy did much better, with the best returns on shares in construction companies and manufacturers of consumer goods.
International: fall in Amsterdam smaller than most
In an international perspective share prices on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange did not decrease by as much as in most other countries. The Amsterdam Exchange Index (AEX) was used to compare the performance of the Dutch stock market with that of other financial capitals.
At the end of the year the AEX was 5% down on the beginning of the year. Of the main euro countries, only the stock exchanges in Italy and France did better. In New York the Dow Jones index closed 6% down, and the Nikkei index, the barometer of Japanese share trading, closed 2000 with a fall of 27%, the worst since 1990.
Frans van Ingen Schenau