BLACK MONDAY; Irish Punters Are Hit for a Billion as High Tech Stock Crashes around Globe

Article excerpt

A BILLION pounds was wiped off the value of Irish shares yesterday as prices on the Dublin Stock Exchange crashed.

In what is being described as another Black Monday, dozens of Irish companies, including the banks and Eircom, saw their shares drop as panic gripped the markets.

In the first hours of trading, the Dublin Stock Exchange lost nearly five per cent of its total value.

Worst hit were technology stocks which saw their share prices plunge wiping millions off the value of companies such as Iona Technologies and Baltimore Technologies.

Software group Baltimore's share price plunged 564p in early trading and Horizon Technology also fared badly, going down 150 to 750.

Cement Roadstone Holdings suffered a drop and closed 57 points down on the day.

The banks did not escape the crash. Allied Irish Banks finished 30 points down and the Bank of Ireland was down six per cent by midday.

Many Irish dotcom millionaires who made a fortune when their companies were recently floated on the stock exchange saw much of their gains wiped out.

Eircom shares also fared badly. By lunchtime yesterday the telecoms giant had lost eight per cent of its total value and once again was down below its flotation price.

At one stage the price went down to 3.77 euros, however, it recovered to close at 3.90 euros.

This hit hundreds of thousands of small Irish shareholders who have held on to their stocks in the hope that the company would be taken over by a bigger operator. …