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EU equities grow by 118%

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Equity prices across the European Union (EU) have risen by an average of 118% since 2003, growing at twice the rate of US share prices, according to Halifax Financial Services.

Eight of the 10 EU countries with largest growth in stock prices since 2003 were in eastern Europe, according to Halifax, with Bulgarian share prices having risen by 352% – the fastest rate across the EU and 6 times greater than the growth of UK stock prices at 55%.

Halifax’s research also found that Estonia recorded the largest fall in stock prices since April 2007, while UK stock prices fell by 6% over the last year.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax financial services, said: “Despite the recent financial market difficulties, the long-term performance of equities across the EU has been strong. Over the past five years shares prices have risen by an average of 17% per annum.

“The top performing stock markets over the past five years are primarily the newest members to the European Union. These countries have clearly benefited from greater capital flows, especially foreign direct investment and the further integration of their financial markets within the EU. This has boosted share prices substantially.”

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