Lithuanian shares keep Baltic List afloat

  • 2002-06-13
  • Boris Epsteins
Gains by Lithuania's industrial stocks last week kept the Baltic Index temporarily immune from falling trends noted worldwide.

The 13 blue chip Baltic stocks traded on the Baltic bourses last week edged the Baltic Index up 0.61 percent to 156.97 points. But Estonian and Lithuanian telecom stocks fell 4 - 6 percent, similar to global trends.

Only three Baltic List stocks gained in price. Refrigerator producer Snaige and Utenos Triko-tazas knitwear, both Lithua-nian stocks, gained between 5 percent and 10 percent.

The significant fall by Baltic telecom stocks last week caused the Baltic List's capitalization index to fall from 2.84 billion euros ($2.68 billion) to 2.79 billion euros.

Baltic List turnover leveled off at 4 million euros last week.

Just under 69 percent of turnover resulted from Estonian stock transactions; 27.5 percent was accounted by movement in Lit-huanian stocks and only 4 percent from Latvian stocks.

During all of last week the summer doldrums have prevailed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange and investors were passive.

The TALSE index dropped 2.38 percent over the five days to close at 179.47. Estonia's five Baltic List stocks shed 1.71 percent to close the week at 145.21 points.

The week's aggregate turnover fell by 75 percent compared with the previous to close at 56.4 million kroons ($3.4 million). Baltic List shares contributed 76 percent of this turnover and the Compen-sation Fund's ninth issue bonds brought in 10 million kroons, trading more briskly than usual due to their approaching redemption date.

"The market is back at last July's levels and getting worse," said Jaak Raivo. director of Uhispank's capital markets division.

Hansapank's weakening has been a gradual descent, while Eesti Telekom's fall is tied to the overall weakness of the telecommunication sector, the trader said.

The leader in terms of turnover was Hansapank, generating 35.7 million kroons. The stock ended down 0.35 percent on the week at 220.62 kroons.

Eesti Telekom shed 6.25 percent over the week, finishing at 70.41 kroons. The turnover was a modest 3.31 million kroons.

The Riga Stock Exchange's market players focused on Latvian Shipping Company shares last week, which will be offered on the Riga Stock Exchange and in the world's largest financial centers June 12-25.

Turnover in Riga fell to a trickle of only 179,000 lats ($290,000).

The Baltic List's Latvijas Gaze and Ventspils Nafta oil terminal shares accounted for 52 percent of the turnover.

The Dow Jones Riga Stock Exchange capitalization index gained 1.64 percent last week to 177.96 points. A boost in Latvijas Gaze shares pushed the Latvian Baltic List index up 0.97 percent to 224.49.

The RICI price index, meanwhile, fell 2.63 percent to 214.38 points following losses by second-list, low-liquidity stock.

Latvijas Gaze's prices gained 3.8 percent to 5.5 lats by the end of the week on a turnover of 76,000 lats

Ventspils Nafta stocks fell 2.7 percent to 0.72 lats last week on a turnover of 16,000 lats, a fall attributed to declining cargo revenue.

The Lithuanian stock market started the week on a low note with most stocks drifting lower in thin turnover. Trading picked up toward the end of the working week, however, thanks to a strong performance by Snaige.

The bourse's continuously tracked price index Litin-10 was up 1.85 percent to 1,162.69 points and the price index of Lithuanian Baltic List shares gained 2.45 percent to 144.27 points.

However, the blue chip index Litin eased 1.98 percent to 313.35 points, and the broad index Litin-G edged down 0.60 percent to 921.43 points.

The equity turnover reached 4.6 million litas ($1.25 million) during the week. The Baltic List turnover was 3.8 million litas, 82 percent of the total.

Market participants attributed Snaige's rally to the company's good operating results. Snaige posted a 41 percent increase in sales for the first five months of 2002 and said it intended to raise its annual sales target.

Lietuvos Telekomas ended the week 4.03 percent lower at 1.19 litas in trade worth 201,700 litas. The drop in price was attributed to overall weakness of world telecom and IT markets.