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Latvian market still the biggest loser

  • 1998-12-17
Although the Riga Stock Exchange's indexes posted significant gains this week, if we look back at how much the Russian financial crisis has affected the Baltic markets, the Latvian securities market has taken a much bigger hit than the Estonian and Lithuanian markets.

The Latvian securities market has fallen twice as fast as the Estonian and Lithuanian markets since August 17, the date of the ruble devaluation and Russia's de facto default on its debts. Riga's DJRSE index dropped from 179.93 points on August 17 to 100.42 points on August 11, a drop of 42 percent. The RICI index dropped by 44.6 percent from 350.48 to 194.16 points.

Estonia's TALSE dropped 24.5 percent during this period from 124.98 to 94.31 points. Lithuania's blue chip LITIN index dropped only 17.5 percent during this period, from 614.32 percent to 506.56 points.

Latvian stocks took as large a hit as Russian securities. The RTS-1 index fell 46.4 percent from 109.43 points on August 17 to 58.67 points on December 11.

Most other central European indexes posted drops similar to Estonia and Lithuania. Warsaw's WIG-20 dropped 19.5 percent from 1422.6 to 1144.9 points.

The table below shows that even if the RSE rebounds a little before Christmas, investors who put their money into Estonian or Lithuanian stocks at the beginning of this year or even earlier will have much more to celebrate about in the New Year.