Stock markets: weekly report (February 26 - March 5)

  • 1999-03-11
Estonia: Share prices up solidly

The Tallinn stock received a positive impact in the outgoing week from rapidly rising prices of the leading shares.

The TALSE index rose by 8.24 percent to 116.22 points.

Hansapank broker Romet Tepper said that aggressive buying of Telecom shares started immediately as the market opened in the morning on Friday. "The share was brought up quickly from 108.50 kroons ($7.64) to 112 kroons," he said.

The reason for the price rise was a considerable purchase interest in Telecom GDRs in London, which started to die down in the afternoon.

Tepper said that Telecom shares are now fully affected by foreign investors. He said local people are not as active as that.

In Tallinn the share closed at 112.25 kroons on Friday after a rise of 11.14 percent during the week.

"Realistically, there will be no one buying them so aggressively at these levels on Monday," the broker said. He forecast a fall of a couple of kroons for Telecom.

Although bank shares also rose in Telecom's shadow during the week, Tepper was not too optimistic concerning them either.

Hansapank stock rose by 8.05 percent from its last Friday's closing price and ended the week at 80.50 kroons, while Uhispank stock rose by 5.31 percent to close at 25.80 kroons.

On Friday, Uhispank published the audited loss figures of its group, which reached 383.4 million kroons after corrections introduced at the auditor's recommendation.

"It is positive that Uhispank heard the recommendations," Tepper said. But he said the published loss figure is much too high for the local market, and therefore there is still room for a fall from the share's present price level.

The broker forecast buying interest in Uhispank's share at 24 kroons.

Among the main list stocks, the building company Merko Ehitus' share rose the most during the week, up 12.88 percent to 14.90 kroons. Friday's deals accounted for half of the week's turnover of 4 million kroons.

In Tepper's opinion the interest in Merko came from outside Estonia. "It may also happen in the case of Merko that the required quantities have been acquired and then the share will fall a little again," he said.

Latvia: Latvijas Gaze takes the lead

Last week, shares in Latvijas Gaze - the Latvian gas company - assumed the leadership on the Riga Stock Exchange in terms of turnover and stock price increases as the company's share price rocketed up by 16.19 percent to 1.22 lats ($2.07).

The experts attributed the growth of the gas company's shares to their insufficient supply on the market as well as the expected auction for cash on the stock exchange.

Shares in Latvijas Gaze generated a turnover of 43,700 lats, which accounted for nearly 22 percent of the total stock exchange turnover of 200,000 lats.

The company's shares, so far, are not included in any of the stock exchange indexes. Both the DJRSE and RICI indexes of the Riga Stock Exchange declined slightly over the week with the DJRSE dropping 0.93 percent to 90.08 points and the RICI dropping a mere 0.03 percent to 173.33 points.

Along with Latvijas Gaze, shares of Latvia's Unibanka and Ventspils Nafta were traded more or less actively. The value of Unibanka's shares did not change significantly and was 0.90 lats at the end of the week, while Ventspils Nafta's shares slid 2.74 percent to 0.71 lats reacting to rumors about declining Russian oil exports through Ventspils.

Lithuania: Litin up in light trading

Stock trading on the Lithuanian National Stock Exchange was exceptionally inactive last week with only some of the blue chip shares rising.

The official list of the stock exchange, the Litin index, grew 0.9 percent over the week to 569.99 points while the second list, the LitinA index, dropped 2.88 percent to 109.23 points.

The weekly turnover on the stock exchange was almost 15.74 million litas ($3,935,000), down nearly three times from the previous week. In addition, transactions with government bonds accounted for 53 percent of the turnover.

"The general market activity was low because Vilniaus Bankas was caught victim of the general inactivity," said VB Vilfima broker Kestutis Kvainauskas.

Nevertheless, trading on the central market in Vilniaus Bankas shares was the most active with 909,700 litas' worth of shares sold and the share price edging up 0.5 percent over the week to 27.73 litas per share.

Trading in Bank Hermis regained activity after a long period of silence, generating a turnover of 171,800 litas and its share price climbing up 2.85 percent to 108 litas.

"There are quite a lot of intermediaries trying to profit who are buying shares in Hermis," said Dmitry Dutov, a broker for Baltijos Vertybiniai Popieriai brokerage.

Hermis' shares were even more actively traded in block deals, selling more than 3.34 million litas' worth of shares.

As to shares on the second list, investor interest in stocks of Lithuanian beverage companies remained high, especially in the Klaipeda-based Svyturys as its share price grew 2.45 percent to 55.25 litas on a turnover of 256,000 litas.

"Svyturys is one of the best beverages. With operational results that promise safely good dividends, it is an attractive investment," said Hermis broker Rimas Kirdulis.

The news published during the second half of the week that the paper manufacturer Grigiskes is seeking a strategic investor sent the company's shares up by 66.67 percent to 0.35 litas per share while its weekly turnover was 102,500 litas.

Trading in Lietuvos Energija shares was active as usual with the share price edging up 0.2 percent to 4.92 litas on a turnover of 648,500 litas.