Estonian gains resemble Wall Street's, Baltic index unswayed

  • 2002-03-07
  • Boris Epsteins
Estonian stocks continued gaining fast over the last week with the rate of price increases keeping in pace with price gains on the United States stock market.

In the meantime, correcting most of the stocks in Latvia and Lithuania kept the Baltic index from rising significantly.

The Baltic index of the Baltic List's 13 most capitalized stocks rose just 0.29 percent over the week to 157.96 points. The index rose to a record high at 158.45 points.

Of the 13 stocks, eight posted gains and four fell while one stock remained flat.

The capitalization of Estonia's Hansapank last week exceeded 1 billion euros ($865 million) for the first time and hit 1.05 billion euros.

Hansapank's capitalization growth pushed up the entire Baltic List capitalization by 2.15 percent to 2.85 billion euros from 2.79 billion euros a week ago.

The Baltic List turnover slightly increased over the last week to 8.45 million euros from 8.1 million euros a week earlier.

In Estonia the Baltic List stocks were leaders on their home bourse, the Tallinn Stock Exchange, in terms of turnover providing more than 98 percent of the weekly stock trade there. In Lithuania and Latvia this indicator was 60 percent on average.

The first week with the new trading system brought Hansapank's share further up to 208.41 kroons ($11.58), with the construction company Merko Ehitus as another major winner.

The TALSE index gained 3.72 percent during the week finishing at 171.75. The total turnover in the five days, generated in 674 deals, came to 112.1 million kroons. The Baltic List's weekly turnover came to 109.5 million kroons, 98 percent of the total.

Merko, which posted encouraging 2001 results, made solid gains during the week. Merko has pretty much room for rising in the light of the latest results if the market on the whole remains as strong as it is now.

Merko Ehitus rallied 7.41 percent during the week to finish at 52.42 kroons, a gain of 3.62 kroons in cash terms.

The most traded issue was Hansapank, which rose 5.13 percent from 198.25 kroons to 208.41 kroons.

Starting from last week the Tallinn Stock Exchange adopted the trading system of the Helsinki stock exchange, while Tallinna Kulmhoone and XXL.EE quit the bourse.

Trading activity on the Riga Stock Exchange almost died out completely over the last week with the average daily stock turnover on the bourse sliding slightly below 10,000 lats ($15,500).

Stock prices changed insignificantly amid the low activity.

The capitalization index DJRSE dropped 0.18 percent over the week to 180.23 points, and the price index RICI was off by 0.21 percent to 175.16 points.

The index of the Baltic List's Latvian stocks, calculated in euros, slid 0.1 percent over the week to 240.49 points.

The stock turnover on the Riga bourse last week was 49,000 lats, of this the Baltic List stocks contributed 63 percent or 31,000 lats.

The decline of the natural gas company Latvijas Gaze share price stopped last week and the stock gained 0.16 percent over the week to 5.99 lats on a 11,000 lat turnover.

The experts have explained the stabilization by the fact that at this point there is almost no offer of these shares on the market.

Ventspils Nafta oil terminal was off by 1.6 percent over the week to 0.61 lats per share on a 20,000 lat turnover.

Most Lithuanian stocks that posted strong gains in the previous week underwent a downward correction last week, dragging down the bourse's major indexes.

The bourse's benchmark price index Litin-10 slumped 0.38 percent to 1176.64 points; the blue-chip index Litin edged down 0.69 percent to 335.75 points, but the broad index Litin-G jumped 2.81 percent to 937.23 points.

Also calculated in euros, the price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List stocks fell 2.71 percent to 141.92 points over the week.

The week's equity turnover reached 8.5 million litas ($2.14 million), with Baltic List trading generating 4.9 million litas, or 57 percent of the total.

Refrigerator producer Snaige plummeted 6.22 percent to 42.20 litas in trade worth 2.54 million litas. The fridge maker generated as much as 98 percent of its weekly turnover on Feb. 25.

Blue chip Lietuvos Telekomas held steady at 1.32 litas on a turnover of 447,200 litas.

Last week Telekomas announced a net profit of 181.7 million litas for 2001, down by 24.4 percent from the 240.4 million litas in 2000.

Telekomas' net result for 2000, however, included a net profit of 158 million litas received from the sale of shares in Bite GSM, a local mobile operator, to Tele Danmark.

Excluding the sale of the Bite GSM shares, the company's net profit for the year 2000 was 115.3 million litas, which means an increase of 57.6 percent in 2001 profits over the 2000 figure.