An average of NIS 900 million of shares were bought and sold each day on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in 2005, representing an increase of 53 percent from the previous year, the TASE said Wednesday.
Trade on the TASE is steadily becoming less concentrated, the exchange added, as the 30 most highly traded companies made up 69 percent of the year's volume, down from the 71% share held by the 30 in 2004, and 76.1% the previous year.
"The statistics are characterized by a general movement of the public to invest in medium and smaller shares," the TASE said. "They also indicate that this year will bring a significant decentralization of trade."
Topping the list, Bank Hapoalim ended Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' seven year run as Tel Aviv's most highly traded stock, as an average NIS 82 million of the bank's shares were sold, showing a rise of 56% from 2004. The TASE reasoned that foreign interest in the local banking sector contributed to Hapoalim's high volumes.
Teva, in second place, had an average daily trade of NIS 73.9m., showing growth of 9%.
Maintaining its position in third place, trade in Bank Leumi grew 107% to NIS 72.3m. per day, while Israel Chemicals grew 137% to NIS 49.7m. per day. Makhteshim Agan completed the top five with average daily trade of NIS 41.1m., showing 66% growth over 2004.