Buying and selling of Telecom Éireann shares begins on the stock exchange.

There was a flurry of activity when the Irish Stock Exchange began trading in Telecom Éireann shares this morning.

Launched at £3.07, the share price had climbed to £4.19 within fifteen minutes of the market opening. However, it wasn't long before the price fell back. One broker said that the interest had been colossal with both individuals and institutions both buying and selling shares. There were early concerns that the high prices of the first few minutes of trading were just too high. By the end of the day, the shares closed in Dublin and London at £3.63, 19% up. The level of trading was high indicating that the big institutions do want to buy these shares. 

Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy, speaking after the launch of the Telecom listing on the Irish Exchange, defended the decision to price the shares at over three pounds. 

I think the offer price of £3.07 is a fair one.

Yvonne Ruane of BCP Stockbrokers said that the real indicator on pricing would come when the US markets opened.

The shares opened to a fanfare in New York where Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke and Telecom Chief Executive Alfie Kane rang the bell at the Wall Street Exchange. Over ten million shares were traded before the stock closed well up on the opening price. 

Over two hundred million Telecom Éireann shares were traded today in Dublin and London alone, a clear indication that the large financial institutions have an appetite for this stock. 

There are no guarantees that the shares will retain such high prices when they go to a full listing next week when many members of the public are likely to trade their shares. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 July 1999. The reporter is Richard Curran.