Friday, December 30, 2011

Shares down 17% in year of wild swings, almost $130b wiped out

Investors will be glad to see the back of this year after a nerve-racking 12 months of wild swings and near panic drove shares down 17 per cent - better than some recent years but a blow after last year's bumper effort.

The trading year ended on an appropriate note on Friday with stocks down 1 per cent, bringing the Straits Time Index (STI) to a 2011 close of 2,646.35. Go back a year ago and it was at a heady 3,190.04.

The carnage has also wiped about $129.8 billion off the value of local shares, leaving the market valuation at $716.3 billion.

It was not a total horror show, however. There were some significant listings including March's US$5.45 billion (S$7 billion) initial public offering of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust - a record launch here - and markets elsewhere across the region fared even worse.

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