Nearly 178 billion euro in share market value up in smoke

07/10/2008 15:00

Around 178 billion euro of the value Dutch companies on the Amsterdam stock exchange disappeared into thin air in the first nine months of 2008. This is a loss of more than one third compared with the end of 2007. It is the largest loss since 2002, when share values also fell by just over one third (190 billion euro).

Share market value of Dutch companies, 2008

Share market value of Dutch companies, 2008

Large fluctuations

The largest loss in the first three quarters of 2008 was in January, when the value of shares fell by nearly 74 billion euro in the space of one month. The low point was on 22 January, when 31 billion euro went up in smoke.

In September, following a number of hefty day-to-day fluctuations, a new low point was realised with a loss of 66.5 billion euro. The blackest day was Monday 29 September, when Dutch shares lost nearly 26 billion euro in value. 

Daily fluctuations in the value of Dutch shares on the Amsterdam stock exchange, September 2008

Daily fluctuations in the value of Dutch shares on the Amsterdam stock exchange, September 2008

Largest losers

Companies in the financial sector in particular were hit hard. The value of their shares diminished by more than 51 billion euro in the first three quarters of 2008. This is more than half of their value. Shares in Fortis bank were worth 15 billion euro less, a fall of nearly 74 percent. Outside the financial sector, Royal Dutch Shell lost a substantial amount in share value: more than 50 billion euro in the first three quarters of 2008, which is one third of their value at the end of 2007.

Value of Dutch shares on the Amsterdam stock exchange, 2008 

Value of Dutch shares on the Amsterdam stock exchange, 2008

Lower values also a result of companies leaving the stock exchange

Market share values were not only affected by lower share prices. The departure of a number of companies from the stock exchange also accounted for 82 billion euro of the fall. The largest company to leave the stock exchange was ABN/AMRO bank. This resulted in a fall of 70 billion euro in share market value on 25 April. 

Jos van Heiningen and Maarten Molders