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FALLING PRICES AND LOW TURNOVER HAUNT BALTIC BOURSES

  • 1999-10-28
Last week ghouls and goblins flew rampant on all three Baltic bourses, chasing down share prices and spooking trading activity.

The Tallinn Stock Exchange's TALSE index took the heaviest hit with nearly a 3 percent drop due to Norma's 16 percent drop. Market analysts cannot explain the share's steep fall. Hansapank met nine-month earnings expectations but nevertheless must have disappointed some investors, as its share price slid 2.5 percent for the week.

After some increased activity at the beginning of the month the Riga Stock Exchange has slumped back into its usual slumber with average daily turnover less than $50,000. Publication of three-quarter results changed share prices little except for renewing interest in Valmieras Stikla Skiedra fiberglass factory. But Valmieras SS will be unable to pull the market up by itself, and experts are not forecasting any increased trading excitement soon.

Lithuania's market has dropped the curtain on the drama which has driven trading the past several months. Terms of the merger between Hermis and Vilniaus banks are now clear, and Ukio's secret investor has retreated into obscurity, along with speculators. Considering the problems in the energy sector and the impending collapse of the government, the 0.80 drop in the LITIN-10 index appears to be quite a good result.

Most world bourses rebounded last week following slides the previous week. New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average and London's FT100 both posted gains of between 2 percent and 5 percent, though share prices still remain considerably off the year's highs.