Tallinn brokers have seen better days

  • 1998-11-19
  • Kairi Kurm
TALLINN – As Tallinn Stock Exchange turnover is shrinking, some brokerage companies are thinking of quitting the bourse game.

With the total TSE turnover in October hardly reaching 340 million kroons ($24 million), the brokerage firms, which receive an 0.15 percent commission on average, were left with empty pockets.

According to the business newspaper Aripaev, brokerage firms have been looking for someone to buy them since spring. In an overall down period they don't have much to do but to merge, be liquidated or find new markets.

Only 19 out of 24 TSE members are presently active. During the last two months, five brokerage licenses were suspended.

EVEA Pank and ERA Panks' brokerage licenses were suspended due to liquidation of the banks. The Vaartpaberiparisnike brokerage license was never renewed after it had expired. HF Kapital has stopped offering security services to its clients.

Handelsbanken Aktoris halted its license due to the company's restructuring, but agreed with the TSE that it will get its status back.

Svenska Handelsbanken, which owns Handelsbanken Aktoris, may get a TSE remote member license in the future. A remote member is a brokerage company, which is not physically present in the country but can trade directly with the shares listed on the TSE.

The TSE plans to introduce the status of non-resident member next year, after the changes have been made in the law. According to TSE Board Chairman Gert Tiivas, foreign institutions have already expressed interest in this matter.

The biggest members of the Tallinn Stock Exchange are Hansapank, Uhispank, Forekspank, Beeta Varahaldus and Talinvest Suprema Securities. Those five biggest brokerage companies make up 80 percent of the TSE turnover. Hansapank covers about one third and Uhispank about 29 percent of the total turnover.