Baltic stock prices inch up despite world trends

  • 2002-06-20
  • Boris Epsteins
Developments on the Baltic states' stock market last week bucked world market trends for the second consecutive week with gains in most Baltic stocks as world indexes continued to fall.

The Baltic List of 13 blue chip stocks traded on Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius bourses climbed 0.79 percent over the week to 158.21 points. Eesti Telekom and Lietuvos Telekomas added over 3 percent, boosting the list's capitalization from 2.79 billion euros ($2.65 billion) to 2.8 billion euros.

However, no major transactions took place last week, pulling down the Baltic List turnover from 4 million euros to 3.73 million euros.

Estonian stocks contributed 91 percent of the list's trade, Lithuanian stocks 5 percent and Latvian stocks 4 percent.

With slack summer trading set in and no significant news to bring life to the market, trading remained thin on the Tallinn Stock Exchange last week.

The TALSE index edged up 0.75 percent during the week to finish at 180.82 points. The price index of Estonia's Baltic List stocks increased 0.73 percent to 146.26 points.

The total turnover from 193 deals during the five days totaled 56.9 million kroons ($3.44 million).

"A few larger block deals were concluded with Hansa, Telekom and Norma, but there was no trade like we used to see before," Hansabank Markets trader Lauri Lind said.

Hansapank finished at 219.05 kroons, 0.71 percent off its closing price from the previous week. Its five-day turnover reached 45.7 million kroons, accounting for 80 percent of the total turnover of the Estonian stock exchange.

Eesti Telekom recovered 3.11 percent to end at 72.60 with a turnover of 2.93 million kroons amid low trading.

All Latvian stock indexes moved downward last week amid dwindling investor interest in low liquid stocks and a sharp fall by Ventspils Nafta.

The capitalization index DJRSE fell 1.1 percent to 176 points, and the RICI price index lost 3.1 percent to 207.7 points. Latvia's euro price index of the Baltic List stocks slipped 0.85 percent to 222.58 points.

The weekly stock turnover on the bourse was 128,000 lats ($206,000). Baltic List stocks accounted for 86,000 lats or 67 percent of turnover.

Ventspils Nafta fell 4.16 percent over the week to 0.69 lats on trade of 47,500 lats.

The stock was pulled down by internal management problems.

Rumors abounded that top management officials of the oil terminal may leave.

The disagreements might even reportedly cause a delay in privatization of the company. It was reported late last week that Riga Stock Exchange's management has proposed a different model of privatization than that offered by Ventspils Nafta's privatization adviser.

The stock exchange proposes to sell half of Ventspils Nafta shares for cash and the other half for privatization vouchers, while the model approved by Latvijas Naftas Tranzits envisages selling a majority of shares for privatization vouchers.

The confectioner Staburadze jumped 60 percent to 0.56 lats on 15,000 lats' worth of trade, evidently pushed up by a court ruling that may result in the company's largest shareholder being forced to make a public buy-out offer to minority shareholders, a scenario which inevitably lead to a share price increase.

Trade was slow on the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania last week. Blue chip refrigerator producer Snaige emerged as the market's leader, hitting a record high.

The bourse's continuously tracked Litin-10 price index inched up 0.16 points to 1164.55 points. The blue chip index Litin rose 0.03 percent to 313.35 points, while the broad index Litin-G edged down 1.68 percent to 905.95 points.

Lithuania's Baltic List shares rose 1.69 percent to 146.71 points.

The week's equity turnover reached 4.94 million litas ($1.35 million), with just 650,000 or 13 percent of the total generated by Baltic List securities' trading.

Listed on the bluechip Official List, Snaige climbed 3.64 percent to 57 litas, a record high, on a turnover of 264,100 litas. Analysts attribute gains to good five-month financial results.

Cheese maker Rokiskio Suris rose 1.85 percent to 27.50 litas in trade worth 163,800 litas. In line with the world's IT sector, Lietuvos Telekomas fell 0.84 percent to 1.18 litas with 146,700 litas' worth of shares traded.

On the secondary Current List, the shipping company Lisco Baltic Service closed flat at 0.40 litas with 141,600 litas' worth of shares traded. The marine transport company Klaipedos Transporto Laivynas advanced 2.70 percent to 0.38 litas in trade worth 122,400 litas.

On June 12, some 299,229 shares in Ukio Bank changed hands for 2.639 million litas via four block deals.

The price per share with a face value of 12 litas ranged from 4 litas to 12 litas. Some 337,949 shares in tannery Siauliu Stumbras changed hands through a single block deal.