Baltic trading activity boosted by seatbelt shares

  • 2002-05-29
  • Boris Epsteins
The Baltic Index of 13 Latvian, Lithuania and Estonian blue chip prices in euros inched up 0.17 percent to 159.47 points this week.

Gainers outnumbered losers 6 to 5 and two stocks stayed flat. Price changes were minimal, however, and did not exceed 2 percent to 3 percent of weekly results.

The Baltic List capitalization fell from 2.95 billion euros ($2.7 billion) to 2.94 billion euros due to losses by Baltic telecom stocks.

At the same time, large deals with shares in Estonian seatbelt manufacturer Norma made ahead of a dividend payment boosted the Baltic List's weekly turnover to 6.55 million euros, up one-and-a-half times from the previous week.

Estonian stocks contributed 97 percent of the total turnover, while the remaining 3 percent were yielded by Latvian and Lithuanian stocks in almost equal proportions.

Estonian and Latvian Baltic List stocks dominated on their respective local markets, generating over 60 percent of the stock market turnover on their home bourses. In Lithuania this figure was less than 10 percent.

On the Estonian stock market the TALSE index dipped 0.86 percent to 184.31 points. Still, calculated in euros, the price index of five Estonian Baltic List shares inched 0.2 percent up to 151.93 points.

The turnover generated in 453 deals reached 110.4 million kroons ($6.47 million). Baltic List shares generated a turnover of 99.7 million kroons, 90 percent of the total.

Life on the Estonian stock market was sleepy and investors inactive. But brisk trade in Norma breathed some life into things.

Uhispank broker Urmas Niine said trade in Norma in anticipation of dividends lent color to the week's trading, and Western interest in the Hansapank stock also continued to be in evidence.

"Nothing significant took place in other shares," he added.

Norma gained 0.87 percent over the five days, closing at 72.60 kroons. The turnover, at 60.3 million kroons, made up 55 percent of the week's aggregate turnover.

"Trading in Norma will shrink in the coming week and attention should revert to Hansa and Telekom," said Niine. "But it will continue to be of interest."

The company is paying dividends of 6 kroons per share.

Hansapank, which in the first two days of the week finished flat at 14 euros or 219.05 kroons, ticked up in the following days. The share ended the week at a four-week high, at 220.62 kroons, up by 0.71 percent over the week. The five-day turnover, 31.7 million kroons, accounted for 29 percent of the stock exchange total.

Latvian stocks quoted on the Riga Stock Exchange's official list moved up this week, while trading activity fell steeply.

The Dow Jones Riga Stock Exchange capitalization index climbed 1.34 percent to 179.28 points. The index has lost 10.5 percent since early in the year but increased nearly 30 percent year-on-year.

The RICI price index was down 0.75 percent to 221.73 points, but the index of Baltic List stock prices in euros grew 1.36 percent to 230.6 points. The weekly stock market turnover fell by four times from the previous week to just 92,000 lats ($147,000). Of this, 60,000 lats or 65 percent was contributed by the Baltic List stocks.

The daily stock market turnover fell below the 10,000 lats benchmark.

Gas company Latvijas Gaze stock rose 1.85 percent to 5.50 lats after sinking to 4.80 lats midweek, but the weekly turnover was just 57,000 lats.

The oil terminal Ventspils Naf-ta stock rose 1.37 percent to 0.74 lats on trade of just 3,750 lats. The Russian government's decision about boosting exports and the growing transit of Kazakh oil will definitely stir up interest in Ventspils Nafta shares.

The Lithuanian stock exchange did not see any market-moving news this week. Small one-off deals prevailed on the central market. Trade in some blue chip stocks was extremely slow, while some secondary stocks unexpectedly posted strong gains.

The bourse's continuously tracked price index Litin-10 edged down 0.31 percent to 1144.90 points, the blue chip index Litin eased 1.55 percent to 329.98 points, and the broad index Litin-G was off 1.11 percent at 944.56 points.

The price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List shares fell 0.49 percent to 142.04 points.

The week's total equity turnover reached 2.8 million litas ($747,000), with Baltic List securities trading generating 280,000 litas or 10 percent of the turnover.

On the Official List, Lietuvos Telekomas closed 2.26 percent lower at 1.30 litas in trade worth 242,800 litas. Telekomas saw fairly brisk trade at the start of the week, but later its volumes shrank.

The electronics firm Vilniaus Vingis edged down 0.21 percent to 4.81 litas on a turnover of 13,400 litas. The trading volumes of other blue chips were below 10,000 litas, and knitwear manufacturer Ute-nos Trikotazas ended without any trade at all.

In block trading, 19.65 percent of the shares in alcohol producer Sema changed hands for a total of 320,900 litas, or 0.07 litas per share with a face value of 1 litas.