Baltic stocks again on downward trend

  • 2002-06-06
  • Boris Epsteins
All Baltic stock indexes and the Baltic List capitalization fell this week, once again following trends on the world's stock markets.

The Baltic Index of 13 blue chip stocks on the Baltic List fell 2.16 percent over the week to 156.02 points, with only two stocks posting slight gains. Nine stocks posted significant losses and two Lithuanian stocks remained unchanged.

The Baltic List capitalization was pulled down to 2.84 billion euros ($2.64 billion) from 2.94 billion euros a week earlier amid losses in the Baltic telecom companies and the Latvian gas company Latvijas Gaze.

The weekly turnover of the Baltic List increased more than twofold, meanwhile, to 14.5 million euros, thanks to large transactions selling shares in Eesti Telekom ahead of a dividend payment. Estonian stocks accounted for almost 100 percent of that turnover, while Lithuanian and Latvian stocks on the Baltic List saw only insignificant trade.

In Estonia, Baltic List stocks accounted for more than 98 percent of the turnover on their home bourse. In Latvia, meanwhile, they accounted for about a half of the turnover, and in Lithuania the proportion was less than 20 percent.

The TALSE stock index eased 0.25 percent to close at 183.85 points, and the price index of five Estonian Baltic List shares fell by 2.76 percent to 147.73 points.

Due to huge deals in Eesti Telekom shares, the week's aggregate turnover was 225.7 million kroons ($13.6 million). Eighty-four percent of this figure was the result of deals in the Telekom stock.

"Because of the dividend, most attention was given to Telekom's share. It's also where the bulk of the turnover came from," Sten Sumberg, chief of the investment bank Suprema's markets department, said.

"The share has been weak lately since the entire sector is weak worldwide, and this is also affecting us," he said.

Hansabank Markets trader Romet Tepper suggested that the large volume was the result of the wish of some investors to time the payment of income tax more suitably for themselves.

Eesti Telekom lost 8.22 percent of its value during the week, closing at 75.10 with a five-day turnover of 189.5 million kroons.

At the end of the week the share started to stabilize.

All Riga bourse indexes fell last week while stock turnover increased amid transactions selling small blocks of shares.

The DJRSE capitalization index in lats fell 2.34 percent to 175.09 points, pulled down by losses in Latvijas Gaze.

The RICI price index dropped 0.7 percent to 220.18 points, and the Latvian index of Baltic List stocks calculated in euros slid 3.58 percent to 222.34 points.

Stock turnover this week rose more than twofold to 214,600 lats ($346,130) thanks to a growing number of transactions selling small blocks of shares as well as relatively large transactions in the pharmaceuticals maker Grindex.

Trade in stocks in the oil terminal Ventspils Nafta increased sharply in the wake of announcements by officials about the approval of regulations for the privatization of state-owned shares in the company.

Ventspils Nafta changed hands for 77,420 lats, up by 3,750 lats from the week before.

Latvijas Gaze dived 3.63 percent over the week to 5.3 lats per share amid trade of 32,108 lats.

Lackluster trends continued on the Lithuanian stock market during the last week of May, which can be best illustrated by the fact that as few as two stocks generated a turnover of over 100,000 litas ($27,400) on the central market. Most stocks lost ground, usually the case during dull trade.

The bourse's benchmark price index Litin-10 edged down 0.29 percent to 1141.59 points, the bluechip index Litin was off 3.12 percent to 319.67 points, and the broad index Litin-G fell 1.86 percent to 926.98 points.

The price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List shares fell by 0.86 percent to 140.82 points.

The week's equity turnover reached 3.66 million litas. Baltic List securities generated just 168,300 litas, 17 percent of the total.

On the official list, cheese-maker Rokiskio Suris was at the center of investor interest. The stock remained unchanged at 28.01 litas in trade worth 58,200 litas.

Dairy producer Pieno Zvaigzdes went down 2.16 percent to 1.36 litas in trade worth 36,400 litas; electronics firm Vilniaus Vingis climbed 0.83 percent to 4.85 litas in trade worth 36,100 litas. Refrigerator producer Snaige fell 0.10 percent to 50 litas amid turnover of 29,800 litas.

Bluechip Lietuvos Telekomas fell back 4.62 percent to 1.24 litas, with 29,400 litas' worth of shares traded. TV-tube manufacturer Ekranas fell 1.06 percent to 5.60 litas amid a turnover of 14,400 litas.

On the secondary current list, the shipping company Lisco Baltic Service jumped 2.56 percent to 0.40 litas in trade worth 359,500 litas.