Stock markets: weekly report (November 12-19)

  • 1999-11-25
Estonia: Eesti Telekom's price surges

The outgoing week on the Tallinn Stock Exchange was marked by an optimistic mood and a rising trend which culminated in a major surge in the price of Eesti Telekom stock on Friday after publication of the company's financial results. The TALSE index rose by 15.21 percent to end the week at 108.55 points.

Hansapank broker Romet Tepper said the week was shaped by Eesti Telekom, which made an unexpected 13.19 percent leap upward on Friday. Telekom's overall turnover during the week was 33.3 million kroons ($2.2 million), and its share rose by 23 percent to 92.25 kroons. It again crossed the 85 kroon issue level it had sunk under at the end of September. "Small investors do not have much to say concerning Telekom, most of the turnover was from foreign investors," the broker said. Tepper said that Telekom's stock had likely reached a high on Friday and forecast a slight profit-taking for next week. He said it is also confirmed by developments on Western stock markets.

According to financial results published on Nov. 18, Eesti Telekom made a consolidated net profit of 492 million kroons at 2.6 billion kroons of net sales in January-September.

The market was optimistic also concerning smaller shares in the outgoing week, Tepper said. He said the general buoyant mood of the market will be supported by the macroeconomic results to be published at the beginning of December. "No one doubts we will have economic growth in the third quarter," the broker added.

Besides the telecommunications company, there was interest above all in Hansapank's and Norma's stocks on the main list. The turnover from deals with Hansapank stock was 22.3 million kroons in the outgoing week, and the price of the share rose by 9.45 percent to 84 kroons.

Norma gained 12.50 percent over the week and closed at 33.30 kroons on Nov. 19, with a 12.1 million kroon turnover.

Of supplementary list shares, Saku brewery produced a turnover of nearly 3 million kroons and the price of its share rose by 8.05 percent to 51 kroons in seven days.

Tepper said that Saku's liquidity slipped away at the end of the week, and no stormy price rise is in sight at the moment. He added that also Harju Elekter stock is strong, and its price is on the cheap side at the moment. Harju Elekter rose by 3.83 percent to 95 kroons over the week.

The week's total turnover on the Tallinn stock market was 87 million kroons.

Latvia: Trading in Unibanka picks up

Last week trading in Unibanka's shares picked up, accounting for more than three-quarters of the Riga Stock Exchange's turnover.

Not only Unibanka's share price rose but also that of most more or less liquid stocks. The cap-weighted DJRSE index climbed 1 percent to 75.99 points and the RICI price index jumped 1.95 percent to 153.61 points. Despite the modest gains this week both indexes are near their yearly lows, and are down about 20 percent from the start of the year. In contrast, the Estonian and Lithuanian stock indexes are up about 20 percent.

Unibanka's share price climbed 2.27 percent to 0.90 lats ($1.55). Much of the trading is due to news released by the bank. In part the bank's signing a major 30 million euro ($30.93 million) syndicated loan was viewed positively, as was the possibility of getting even larger resources from its majority owner - Sweden's Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.

Despite the increase in trading in Unibanka's shares, it must be noted that most of it was due to repo deals off the central market at prices 20 percent to 30 percent lower than the current market price.

In addition to Unibanka there was also some interest in Ventspils Nafta's shares, as well as fiberglass manufacturer Valmieras Stikla Skiedra , whose weekly turnover totaled almost 13,000 lats.

Ventspils Nafta's share price held steady at 0.46 lats. Its share price is being held down by uncertainty regarding Russians' preference regarding export routes. LUKoil has been making contradictory statements about exports, the government has been threatening to ban exports from companies with tax debts, and there are rumors of new hikes in export tariffs.

But with the price of a barrel of oil at $25, both exporters and the terminal should be able to earn profits, so Ventspils Nafta's share price should not fall considerably.

The 6.82 percent rise in Valmieras SS share price to 0.47 lats is likely due to investors' confidence the company will finish the year with a sizable profit as expected.

After several weeks, a deal in Balta insurance company's shares was finally concluded. One share was sold for 2.90 lats, a 3.33 percent drop.

The biggest gainer last week was milk cannery Rezekne PKK, which jumped 11.1 percent to 0.10 lats. Naruta's shares posted the sharpest fall, down 11.76 percent to 0.15 lats.

Turnover totaled 177,000 lats during the two-day holiday week, with 79 percent in Unibanka shares.

Unibanka's shares are likely to remain in focus next week. It cannot be excluded that the rise in Estonian bank shares may tempt some foreign investors to take a chance on Unibanka, which looks considerably undervalued at the moment.

Lithuania: Trading again slips into slumber

Last week trading on the Lithuanian National Stock Exchange once again slowed, with what little interest investors showed divided between shares in Hermis and Ukio banks.

The blue-chip LITIN index slipped 0.83 percent, but the LITIN-10, which includes Ukio Bankas, climbed 0.72 percent to 1179.29 points.

"Everything in life is cyclical - after brisk trading the previous week it subsided," said VB Vilfima broker Kestutis Kvainauskas.

Trading in Hermis' shares on the central market remained relatively active at 815,400 litas ($203,850) in turnover. Trading was heavier in the second half of the week when its share price rose above 126 litas.

Baltic Securities broker Dmitry Dutov said that there are enough buyers for Hermis shares at above 126 litas, and there are many investors who bought shares earlier when they were considerably more expensive for whom 126 litas looked like the best exit price to be expected.

Trading in Vilniaus Bankas' shares died down. Its share price slid 4.68 percent to 25.04 litas on a central market turnover of 440,900 litas.

"Interest in Vilniaus Bankas' shares weakened. It appears that those who wanted to buy the bank's shares have already done so, maybe some have already quietly taken their gains and trading has now quieted," said Dutov.

On the current list in the second half of the week interest picked up in Ukio Bankas. Its share price soared 19.68 percent to 9.06 litas on a central market turnover of 1.03 million litas.

"Lately there has been news about the bank and its new share issue. Therefore there has been real demand for the share and its price has risen," said Dutov.

On Friday the Securities Market Commission registered the bank's new 24 million litas stock issue at par.

The turnover on the exchange totaled over 16.48 million litas, with 3.33 million litas changing hands on the central market.

The director of Hermis Bankas' financial markets department, Tomas Andrejauskas, predicts no major changes in the upcoming week. Trading may pick up in Vilniaus Bankas stock, with interest in Hermis and Ukio banks remaining strong.