BET, the main index of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, reached its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, September 19. The market capitalization of the BET index companies increased eightfold during this period to RON 35 billion (EUR 7.6 billion).
The index was launched in September 1997, with ten companies and a capitalization of RON 443 million. It had an initial level of 1,000 points. After 20 years, BET index is at 8,000 points and includes 13 companies.
The index has seen many changes during this period and doesn’t have any of its initial components, which included industrial groups such as car manufacturer Dacia, appliance producer Arctic and drug manufacturer Terapia, among others. Chemical producer Oltchim, which had the highest share in the index in the beginning, is now bankrupt while Dacia, Arctic and Terapia have been privatized and delisted from the stock market.
The index is now dominated by companies in the financial and energy sectors, with lender Banca Transilvania and investment fund Fondul Proprietatea holding the highest shares, of nearly 20%. The index structure has diversified recently, with the inclusion of telecom group Digi Communications and medical services provider MedLife.
The main criterion for including companies in the index is liquidity. The index reached its historic low (281 points) one year after its launch, in September 1998, and skyrocketed to the historical maximum (10,600 points) ten years after the launch, in July 2007.