The Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE) was the best performing stock exchange in the world as the Al Quds Index increased by 306.61% for the year of 2005. Moreover, trading values surged in 2005 to reach $2.096 Billion, which is more-than-double of all values for all years since the first trading session in 1997 and until 2004. The market capitalization surged to almost $4.5 Billion, that is as big or bigger than stock markets in seven of the 10 new European Union members. Three companies were listed on the PSE during the year, which brought the number of listed companies to 28. In January 2005, the PSE welcomed the listing of a new pharmaceutical company, Berzeit Pharmaceutical Co. (BPC). Golden Wheat Mills (GMC) began trading in June 2005. Meanwhile, Bank of Palestine (BOP) joined the banking sector in November 2005.