Latvian stocks force Baltic Index down

  • 2002-06-27
  • Boris Epsteins
A significant fall in Latvia's blue chip Baltic List stocks has dragged down the Baltic Index and Baltic List capitalization. Comfort may be found in the fact that indexes on the global market fell even further than in the Baltic states.

As for capitalization, Latvia will have the chance at restating itself if Latvian Shipping Company stocks are listed on the Baltic List as planned from July 1, boosting capitalization by some 100 million euros ($103 million) to 150 million euros.

The Baltic Index, still including 13 Baltic List blue chip stocks, fell this week by 1.52 percent to 155.8 points. Only the price of three shares actually posted small gains, while nine stocks ended significantly down.

The Baltic List capitalization fell from 2.80 billion euros to 2.76 billion euros.

Shares in Hansapank and Estonia's telecommunications company Eesti Telekom were traded actively, boosting the Baltic List turnover from 3.73 million to 5 million euros.

Ninety-two percent of the turnover came from deals in Estonian stocks with a respective 6 and 2 percent from Latvian and Lithuanian stocks.

On the Estonian market, Baltic List stocks were in leading positions in terms of trade, as usual, covering 97 percent of total trade in Tallinn, whereas for Latvia the figure was 58 percent and only 4 percent for Lithuania.

With summer moods prevailing, the Tallinn Stock Exchange saw another week of thin activity.

The TALSE index lost 0.74 percent or 1.33 points in the five days, closing at 179.49 points. The price index of Estonian Baltic List shares fell 1.01 percent to 144.78 points.

The weekly turnover from 221 deals reached 75.8 million kroons ($4.7 million).

At the start of the week only parcel deals with Hansapank generated a turnover. Otherwise the stock market was quiet, Suprema broker Riho Talumaa observed.

Toward the end of the week, Eesti Telekom shares began to be traded more briskly, and the EVP privatization voucher climbed higher, he added.

Eesti Telekom slipped only 0.43 percent to 72.29 kroons on a turnover of 10.56 million kroons.

Eesti Telekom's relative strength was at the same time something of a surprise, Elviste observed, as in other parts of the world telecoms suffered falls of 2 percent to 5 percent. "The strength of the share was rather unexpected. But it doesn't look like it can continue. Eesti Telekom doesn't have a hope of moving up now," he said.

Activity on the Latvian stock market increased this week, while its indexes kept falling, even faster than the previous week, with losses in the blue chip Latvijas Gaze gas utility and Ventspils Nafta oil terminal.

The Dow Jones RSE capitalization index fell 2.52 percent to 171.56 points, while the RICI price index fell 0.45 percent to 206.47 points.

The euro-priced Baltic List Latvian index fell 4.06 percent to 213.54 points, boosted by currency exchange fluctuations.

The weekly stock market turnover was 311,500 lats ($506,000), double the previous week's turnover. The Latvian Baltic List stocks generated 180,000 lats or 58 percent of the total turnover.

Ventspils Nafta shares fell 4.34 percent to 0.66 lats a share, reaching a turnover of 72,400 lats, followed by official announcements of the resignation of a number of the company's top managers and rumors of a possible delay in privatizing the remaining state-owned stake in the oil terminal.

Trading on the Lithuanian stock exchange remained lackluster. The bourse's continuously tracked price index Litin-10 edged up 0.32 percent to 1168.27 points. However, the blue chip index Litin eased 1.96 percent to 311.49 points, and the broad index Litin-G was off 0.05 percent to 905.48 points.

The price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List shares fell 0.66 percent to 145.74 points.

Equity turnover reached 5 million litas ($1.4 million), while the Baltic List turnover in Lithuania came to just 218,055 litas.

There were, however, huge transactions that saw over 8 percent of electronics producer Vilniaus Vingis' stock change hands. Vilniaus Vingis shares are not included on the Baltic List.

Listed on the blue chip Official List, Vilniaus Vingis ended the week 3 percent higher at 5.15 litas on a turnover of 3.835 million litas.

Vilniaus Vingis confirmed that it sold part of its shares, bought back earlier, to raise money for investments. The electronics company had bough back around 9 percent of its stock. The buyer of the shares was not named.