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Baltic markets: back to sluggish activity

  • 1999-03-04
Last week the securities markets of the three Baltic states were characterized by slow activity.

Even the Tallinn Stock Exchange, which the listing of Estonian Telekom's stock sent into a trading frenzy, slowed down by the end of the week. Average daily turnover was down almost a million dollars from the previous week to $3.4 million.

The tapering off in trading of Telekom shares was partially compensated for by increased interest in Hansapank's stock - especially after a profit forecast of $46 million for 1999.

The direction of the Estonian market for the next few weeks will be determined to a large extent by the parliamentary elections. Fitch IBCA's lowering of its rating of Uhispank may also dampen the market.

The Riga Stock Exchange barely reacted to the major event of the week - the Parliament's passing the 1999 budget. The increased trading activity was due to several direct deals in Unibanka shares. The central market was placid with the average daily turnover barely surpassing $100,000.

In Lithuania the average daily turnover on the central market was over $200,000. While this is nearly double Latvia's figure, many more shares are quoted on the Vilnius bourse. Central markets of both the Riga and Vilnius exchanges are providing very little action, and market experts do not expect anything will resuscitate them soon.