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Estonia still outspoken leader

  • 1999-03-18
Estonian securities continued to lead the Baltic bourses last week. Following a slight decline in interest toward Eesti Telekom, Hansapank was more than able to take its place, and total turnover inched up.

In Latvia, the bourse indexes fell as expected after 1998 losses were announced. Turnover went up by 30 percent, but was still considerably lower than in Estonia.

Investors showed little activity during the short holiday week in Lithuania, and changes in bourse indexes were insignificant. This coming week should be more interesting. It's expected that the Bank of Lithuania's leadership will meet with managers from Vilniaus Bankas and Hermis Bankas to try to reach a decision about allowing the former to start a hostile takeover of the latter.

Judging by their commentary on the poor situation in the Latvian banking sector, Estonian and Scandinavian financiers may move to consolidate their position on the Baltic market.

The announcement of much larger losses by Latvian banks will likely serve the interest of their Estonian counterparts, which may enjoy a jump in their share prices.

The increase in world securities markets may also encourage Western investors to look at the Estonian market once again.