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Estonian dividends boost Baltic List turnover

  • 2002-04-25
  • Boris Epsteins
Speculative deals with Estonian stocks during dividend calculations has caused the Baltic List stock market turnover to climb sharply.

Meanwhile, an investor survey carried out by Sweden's Degens Industri shows that most Scandinavians - generally the Finns - do not yet trust the Estonian stock market, let alone the other two Baltic bourses, despite the fact that the Tallinn Stock Exchange recently became part of the Helsinki Exchange or HEX.

Over last week the Baltic List index reached an all-time record of 167.3 points, while it later experienced a fall, with a tumble in Estonia's dividend-free Tallinna Kaubamaja shopping mall stocks.

As a result, the index fell 0.78 percent to 162.92 points over the week.

Seven of the 13 Baltic List stocks gained in value, while six ended down on weekly results.

Eesti Telekom shares, gaining caused the Baltic List capitalization gain an edge of 0.4 percent to 3.05 billion euros ($2.70 billion).

The Estonian Baltic List stock turnover boosted the aggregate Baltic List turnover from 8.5 million euros in the previous week to 12.65 million euros. Over 90 percent of this was from trade in Estonian stocks.

Estonia and Latvia again saw Baltic List stocks produce over 80 percent of the total weekly turnover, while Lithuania saw 30 percent of its turnover from trade in Baltic List stocks.

Last week was the briskest of the past three months for the Tallinn Stock Exchange, with Hansapank's stock the most traded and Telekom making a rise of about 3 percent.

The TALSE stock index rose 1.39 percent to 189.12 percent.

Still, calculated in euros, the price index of the five top Estonian Baltic List shares fell by 3.32 percent to 150.51 points due to a sharp decline in the dividend-free Tallinna Kaubamaja stock.

The weekly total turnover was 183 million kroons ($10.4 million) from 616 deals. Sixty-three percent of the trade's was from deals with Hansapank stock, and all Estonia's Baltic List stocks generated a turnover of 179 million kroons - 98 percent of the total.

"It was a week of quite a sizable turnover," Trigon Markets broker Kaur Elviste said. "Trading with the Hansapank stock was brisk and liquid."

Shares in Hansapank slipped 1.34 percent to 219.37 kroons on a turnover of 115.6 million kroons.

The reason for the fall in the price of the share was that after April 17, shares in Hansapank traded ex-dividend. The bank is to pay a dividend of 4 kroons per share.

On the Riga Stock Exchange, all indexes gained. The Dow Jones Riga Stock Exchange capitalization index gained 1.99 percent to 181.15 points, while the RICI price index gained 4.14 percent to 197.42 points.

The euro-price Baltic index for Latvia gained 1.26 percent to 238.86 points.

A lull in trading in Latvijas Gaze saw to it that trade on the Riga bourse fell to a third of the previous week's results on 444,900 lats ($702,000). But together with the Ventspils Nafta oil terminal the two covered 85 percent of the total turnover on the Riga stock market.

The turnover of Latvijas Gaze's stock reached 307,800 lats, with the share value still rising 2.5 percent to 5.76 lats, despite a repeated refusal by the public services regulator to allow a hike in gas rates.

Ventspils Nafta shares ended flat on 0.70 lats each. A rise in global oil prices may lead to hopes that the Latvian oil terminal's stock is not expected to fall in the near future.

Announcements were made that stakes in the oil terminal may be sold in exchange for privatization certificates or vouchers.

It seems that following the low price for the Latvian Shipping Company stakes recently sold in exchange for privatization certificates, the largest private shareholder in Ventspils Nafta, Latvijas Naftas Tranzits, will not be protesting against the move, and the state will again have the chance to redeem a sizable amount of the privatization vouchers.

Trade picked up on the Lithuanian stock exchange compared with the previous week, with most liquid stocks gaining ground. Refrigerator maker Snaige emerged as the best performer in terms of trading volume, closely followed by the electronics firm Vilniaus Vin-gis.

The bourse's benchmark price index Litin-10 edged up 0.77 percent to 1186.16 points, the blue chip Litin index went up 0.42 percent to 361.35 points, and the broad index Litin-G rose 2.48 percent to 994.19 points.

Calculated in euros, the price index of the six Lithuanian Baltic List shares went up 0.37 percent to 147.95 points.

The week's equity turnover reached 6.1 million litas ($1.6 million). Baltic List securities trading generated 1.8 million litas - 30 percent of the total.

Listed on the blue chip official list, Snaige soared 6.12 percent to 52 litas on a turnover of over 1 million litas; Vilniaus Vingis rose 0.84 percent to 4.80 litas in trade worth 966,600 litas.

Both stocks are enjoying lively investor interest on the back of good earnings news for the first quarter. However, large turnovers were generated via large transactions, which implies that preliminary agreements might be involved.

Lietuvos Telekomas advanced 0.68 percent to 1.47 litas in trade worth 534,300 litas.

Dairy producer Rokiskio Suris closed 0.03 percent higher at 29.01 litas in trade worth 49,200 litas. TV tube manufacturer Ekranas climbed 1.93 percent to 5.80 litas with 114,500, litas worth of shares traded.

On the secondary current list, the shipping firm Lisco Baltic Service remained stable at 0.40 litas on a turnover of 350,200 litas. Another 432,000 litas worth of shares in the company changed hands via block deals.