Latvia: RSE shows its
conservatism once again
The Riga Stock Exchange once again showed its characteristic conservatism. While the Tallinn and Vilnius exchanges posted gains of 21 and 11 percent last week, the RSE did not even break seven percent.
It should be noted, however, the RSE usually also displays such conservatism when its neighbors experience steep slides.
On the main list, shares in Riga Transport Fleet soared 26 percent to 48 santims ($0.77), raising speculation that some market players have already learned the company's results for the first half of the year.
Excluding Balta and Rezeknes Canned Milk Factory, the shares in the other Official List companies rose by six to 13 percent.
For a second week in the row shares in the Rezekne dairy bucked the market trend, this week slipping 1.7 percent to 1.17 lats.
Shares in Hansapank mirrored their climb on the Tallin bourse, but turnover for the week was just 2.27 lats. It is a bitter reminder that the quotation of Hansapank's shares on the RSE is just formal, while on the Helsinki exchange their weekly turnover is in the millions of dollars. Finnish and Estonian brokers play on the differences in prices, further livening up the activity of the exchanges.
Of second list shares, Valmiera Fiberglass posted a strong gain of 27 percent to 42 santims after the company announced more about its investment plans. In contrast to several recent press reports, the factory shouldn't face too many difficulties in placing its issue of more than one million shares at 1.50 lats per share. Strategic investors, ready to invest tens of millions of dollars into the factory's modernization, will not find it difficult to buy the shares in expectation that the market price will increase after several years.
Shares in Lode brick factory unexpectedly fell 15 percent to 1.53 lats. Again it can't be excluded that it may have been due to insiders, but with just 405 lats changing hands it is still too early to draw any conclusions.
Shares in both pharmaceutical companies, Olainfarm and Grindex posted slight gains to 2.70 and 1.04 lats. The poor performance of Tallinn Pharmaceutical Plant continues to influence Grindex's share price.
Average daily turnover on the RSE was 195,000 lats last week, 10 times less than in Tallinn and three times less than in Vilnius.
Most specialist predict the price of most liquid shares to continue rising, although everything depends on first half results.
Lithuania: Profit-taking doesn't reverse rally
In line with analysts' predictions share prices posted stong gains on the Lithuanian National Stock Exchange last week, despite some profit-taking at the end of the week.
Brokers say foreign investors are driving the rally and hope that it will continue next week.
The Litin index climbed 10.97 percent to 691.08 points, while the LitinA was up 0.59 percent at 1577.86 points. Turnover in shares totaled 20.5 million litas ($5.1 million).
Investors were most interested in bank shares, especially Vilniaus Bankas, whose market price soared 30.28 percent to 35.50 litas with 2.25 million litas in turnover.
Shares in Hermis bank posted a solid gain of 19.03 percent to 138.11 litas with 1.78 million litas in turnover.
On the Current List shares in Svyturis were popular among investors, with 1.73 million litas in turnover the brewery's share price falling 0.07 percent to 61.16 litas.
Lietuvos Energija held onto the five litas level with 867,000 in turnover.
Many market analysts believe the rally to be short-lived and at the end of the week many investors began to cash in their gains.
However brokers don't exculde the possiblity that the price of popular shares will continue to rise as there may still be interest from foreign investors.
Russia: stock surges
in view of IMF bailout
Russian stocks surged ahead during last week despite a mixed response by parliament to the government's austerity package on which a massive IMF bailout depends, traders said.
The Russian Trading System (RTS) index closed at 193.35 on July 17, up 34 percent from previous weekend.
"The market is doing well, though it is tough to say why," said Martin Diggle, a trader with Brunswick Warburg. "We haven't had any really good news, but with the start of the Duma's summer recess tommorrow, investors are probably confident the next six weeks should be pretty calm here."
He added that it was too soon to say if foreign investors were returning to the Russian market, "but they are thinking about it."
(Compiled from BNS, brokerage companies reports.)