Linde in the capital market

DAX achieves positive annual result despite considerable fluctuations

The 2015 stock market year was characterised by the monetary policy pursued by the central banks and by geopolitical events, particularly in Ukraine and Syria. Terrorist attacks by IS in France also gave rise to a state of emergency and created a mood of increasing uncertainty. The strong US dollar and the drop in commodities prices exacerbated the debt crisis in some emerging markets and sent share prices south.

Nevertheless, Germany’s leading index, the DAX, was able to hold its own in this difficult international environment. In the first few months of the year, the announcement of monetary policy easing made by the European Central Bank allowed the DAX to climb to one record level after the other. By 10 April, the index had climbed from 9,806 points at the end of 2014 to 12,374 points. The DAX was more volatile in the second quarter until the devaluation of the Chinese currency triggered a slump on the international stock markets in August. The pronounced uncertainty on the global markets continued to affect the DAX. On 24 September, it fell to its year low of 9,427 points – meaning that it had lost almost one quarter of its value compared with the high reached in April.

An upward trend emerged again from mid-September onwards before coming to an abrupt end in early December. The European Central Bank opted not to comply entirely with the high expectations of a further expansion of the loose monetary policy, a move which proved to be a source of negative impetus for a while. Debates relating to refugees and the Volkswagen scandal only served to increase the feeling of uncertainty among investors. What is more, the US Federal Reserve hiked its key interest rate for the very first time in nine years on 16 December 2015. Despite all of these developments, the 2015 stock market year was a positive one on the whole, not least due to a lack of investment alternatives: Germany’s leading index closed trading on 30 December 2015 having gained 9.6 percent.

This means that the DAX outperformed all of Europe’s other major stock market indices. The MSCI Europe Index only gained 2.2 percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 Index, London, rose by 5.0 percent, with the DJ EURO STOXX gaining 8.0 percent. The CAC 40 Index, Paris, reached a similar level to the DAX, climbing by 8.5 percent.

Compared with the European markets, the US stock markets painted a disappointing picture: the S & P 500 Index lost 0.7 percent in a year-on-year comparison. The technology index NASDAQ (NASDAQ composite) achieved better performance, rising by 5.7 percent. The emerging economies were unable to keep up with these developments and lost substantial value: the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, for example, dipped by 17.0 percent in the year under review.

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Capital market-based figures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

2014

1

As at 31 December.

Number of shares with dividend entitlement for the financial year

 

units

 

185,638,071

 

185,638,071

Year-end closing price

 

EUR

 

133.90

 

154.20

Year high

 

EUR

 

193.85

 

157.30

Year low

 

EUR

 

128.05

 

139.15

Total dividend of Linde AG for the financial year

 

EUR m

 

640

 

585

Market capitalisation1

 

EUR m

 

24,857

 

28,625

Average weekly volume

 

No.

 

2,510,206

 

2,267,308

Volatility1 (200 days)

 

%

 

30.2

 

16.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Information per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash dividend

 

EUR

 

3.45

 

3.15

Dividend yield

 

%

 

2.6

 

2.0

Operating cash flow

 

EUR

 

19.35

 

16.17

Earnings (reported EPS)

 

EUR

 

6.19

 

5.94