Ventspils Nafta and Telekomas push Baltic Index down

  • 2000-06-29
The rapid fall by Latvian companies Ventspils Nafta and Latvijas Gaze, along with Lithuania's Lietuvos Telekomas and Vilniaus Bankas, pulled the Baltic Index down by 2.1 percent to 105.63. The Baltic Index stayed in the 105-107 point range during February. During the last week, seven stocks quoted on the Baltic List of blue chips fell, six posted gains while three stocks remained unchanged.

Latvian stocks saw the sharpest declines. The 13 percent fall by Ventspils Nafta, as well as the loss posted by Latvijas Gaze and Balta, resulted in a 5.3 percent fall in the composite index of the Latvian stocks of the Baltic List. In Lithuania shares fell almost as sharply. Lietuvos Telekomas continued to disappoint investors, plummeting nearly 12 percent and pulling down the rest of the market with it.

For the outgoing week, Lithuanian stock prices, as expressed in euros, were somewhat helped by the fall in the euro exchange rate against the litas. The exchange rate fell by 1.2 percent - from 3.82 to 3.74 LTL/EUR.

Estonian stocks meanwhile stopped their falling trend as the composite index of seven Estonian stocks of the Baltic List gained 0.2 percent.

The Baltic List's trading volume, at 4.19 million euros ($3.94 mln), declined by more than two times as compared to the previous week. It should be taken into account though that in Latvia and Estonia trading sessions took place only four days due to the public holiday.

The Baltic List turnover was divided into almost equal parts between the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian shares and in each of the three countries the turnovers were dominated by stocks of just one company.

The Latvian stocks generated a turnover of 1.63 million euros, or 39 percent of the total Baltic List's turnover, with Ventspils Nafta leading the trading. Estonian shares, where Hansapank led in terms of turnover, saw volume of 1.39 million euros, accounting for 33 percent of the Baltic List's total. In Lithuania, Lietuvos Telekomas was the uncontested turnover leader. Five Lithuanian stocks on the Baltic List changed hands for 1.18 million euros, which accounted for 28 percent of the total.

In all three Baltic states the turnovers of Baltic List stocks accounted for 70-80 percent of their national home bourse turnovers. The Baltic List's capitalization on June 23 was 2.99 billion euros, down 2.7 percent from the previous Friday. The Estonian share in the list's capitalization was 1.83 billion euros (+1.1 percent), Latvia's 414 million euros (-6.2 percent) and Lithuania's 752 million euros (-9.3 percent.)

Trading in Tallinn passive, stock prices stop falling

The last week proceeded calmly on the Tallinn Stock Exchange with trading inactive, though leading stocks stopped falling. Trading activity was affected by the vacation season and the nearing Midsummer holiday. During the four trading sessions only 254 transactions were conducted, showing a total turnover of 28 million kroons ($1.68 mln). The Tallinn Stock Exchange's official index TALSE gained 0.76 percent to 135.39.

Estonia last week reported a number of macro-economic indicators, which served to halt the decline for the past few weeks of the leading stocks. "The situation is not very optimistic but a certain growth is there. The hopes were very optimistic, more was expected," Uhispank expert Mart Helmja said. He believes more rapid economic growth can be expected in the future. "Next week the interest in trading may somewhat increase but the turnovers will remain low," Helmja believes.

The biggest turnover, at 11.8 million kroons, was seen by Hansapank, with the bank's share price unchanged at 125 kroons. Eesti Telekom volume was 3.9 million kroons, with its share price posting a gain of 1.64 percent to 108.75 kroons. Car safety belt maker Norma gained 2.99 percent to 37.90 kroons on a turnover of 3.6 million kroons.

Latvian stocks adjust downward

Most of the leading stocks fell last week on the Riga Stock Exchange. All stock indexes declined significantly during the week. The DJRSE fell by 5.89 percent to 107.35, while the price index RICI lost 4.76 percent to 168.58.

Ventspils Nafta plummeted 13.05 percent to 1.31 euros. The share price was fluctuating between 0.7 lats ($1.16) and 0.87 lats. From the total turnover generated by Ventspils Nafta, which amounted to 1.2 million euros, 99 percent consisted of block deals. Shares were not traded on the central markets. Most of the experts believe Ventspils Nafta's shares will continue fluctuating for some time.

Latvijas Gaze lost 4.47 percent to 3.77 euros. A sharp rise in Latvijas Gaze's share price was observed at the very beginning of the last week when some shareholders decided to increase their holding in the company ahead of the shareholders meeting. But as soon as the share blocking deadline for the shareholders meeting expired, interest in Latvijas Gaze's shares subsided and their price began declining rapidly. The drop may continue into next week as well.

Latvijas Unibanka shares meanwhile remained steady during the last week with its share price gaining just 0.86 percent in euro terms to 2.71 euros. Unibanka volume was a mere 42,000 lats in four trading sessions, with 18 percent of this trading on the central market. Analysts of Suprema company believe the low trading activity in Unibanka's shares, which are generally the most popular on the Latvian stock market, reflect the overall inactivity and lack of liquidity on the stock market.

Total stock turnover on the Riga Stock Exchange was 1.13 million lats.

Lithuania's Lietuvos Telekomas continues slide

Trading in the Lithuanian National Stock Exchange did not make investors happy last week as Lietuvos Telekomas shares continued falling. The stock exchange index LITIN plummeted 9.66 percent to 477.75, the LITIN-A dropped 1.55 percent to 1046.03, while the LITIN-10 lost 2.28 percent to 1040.62.

Brokers said the market lacks funds because a lot was invested in Lietuvos Telekomas shares. Investors who sold their shares at a loss are not rushing to reinvest their money, therefore trading in other stocks has completely dried up. The brokers said shares of the telecommunications company, which only recently boosted hopes about a resurgence in the market, for the time being are only "successfully sinking" the market.

Lietuvos Telekomas shares dived 11.67 percent to 0.68 euros, down 16 percent from the IPO price, which was 3.15 litas ($0.78) or 0.82 euros. "Previously it was commonly thought that Estonians are selling the shares but now it begins to seem that it is done by Lithuanians who were hoping to make fast profits from these stocks," Finasta brokerage expert Aurelijus Rimkus said.

The fall in Lietuvos Telekomas share price also resulted in a contraction in trading turnover, with central market volume of the company's shares at 1.57 million litas. Block deals totalled 2.5 million litas in Telekom's shares, and the total turnover for this stock reached 4.07 million litas, or 1.06 million euros.

Against the background of generally inactive trading should be singled out the Rokiskio Suris cheese maker company, whose shares are traded on the official list. Trading volume for the company's shares reached 345,900 litas on the central market at 20.6 litas per share. In euro terms shares gained 1.24 percent to 5.45 euros.

The news that Vilniaus Bankas will be exempt from corporate income tax payments for another three and a half years went unnoticed on the bourse. The bank's share price dropped 3 percent to 8.08 euros, the turnover amounted to 90,300 litas.

From the second list stocks, Lietuvos Energija saw a somewhat more active trade changing hands for 299,600 litas at 5 litas per share. Lietuvos Dujos gas distribution company lost 2.06 percent to 0.95 litas per share, the turnover was 12,700 litas. Ukio Bankas dropped 0.8 percent to 4.96 litas, the turnover was 10,100 litas.

The total turnover on the Vilnius bourse was 6.16 million litas.