On Wednesday, the Milan Stock Exchange reached a closing value that it had not reached for 15 years. This can be seen on the FTSE Mib (we read futsi Eb): it is the main index of the Italian stock market, which shows the performance of the shares of the 40 largest companies and is therefore very representative for assessing trends in the Italian financial market. On Thursday, the index closed at 29,688.45 points, a value it had not reached since June 2008.
The Italian stock market has been growing for some time, but this year it has shown the strongest growth among European stock exchanges: since January its value has increased by 24.4 percent, compared to 12 percent for that of Paris and 16 percent of the Frankfurt stock exchange. The Spanish stock market also performed well, increasing in value by 22 percent.
This is partly due to the fact that international investors have confidence in the situation of the Italian economy and therefore continue to buy shares listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. But there are also technical reasons: the FTSE Mib includes many banks, much more than the other European lists. And the banking sector is benefiting greatly from rising interest rates on mortgages and loans: banking stocks are doing particularly well and Italian stocks have been a major contributor to the performance of the overall index.
The FTSE Mib is measured in points and not in euros, because comparisons over time are thus easier: the base value is 10,000 points, which is equivalent to the value at the start of the historical series in 1992, when the he index was called COMIT 30. The current value means the FTSE Mib is worth almost three times what it was then. Behind the index, however, are values in euros, that is to say how much all the shares of the 40 companies it includes are worth overall: they are worth approximately 620 billion euros .
As the graph shows, the value of the index is still much lower today than in the period before 2008: in fact, the financial crisis of that year, then the sovereign debt crisis that followed, which hit European countries, had a very significant impact with serious and above all persistent effects on the Italian economy, which has not yet recovered. The same trend is observed, for example, in the data on Gross Domestic Product, which measures the size of the economy: it is still lower than the values of the time.
However, the performance of the Italian stock market hides critical problems that remain present in the national financial market. One of them concerns, for example, the fact that fewer and fewer companies are listed, and that some of the largest and most important have left: in 2022 alone, 23 companies have been “delisted”, as we say in jargon, some of which is historical. and very large ones, such as Atlantia, the financial group that owned Autostrade per l’Italia, Exor, the holding company of the Agnelli family, and Cattolica Assicurazioni.