Hansapank's decline pushes down Baltic Index

  • 2002-08-01
  • Boris Epsteins
A 10 percent decline by Estonia's Hansapank and the downward trend of other liquid Baltic stocks last week resulted in a fall for almost all stock exchange indexes in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as a considerable reduction in Baltic List capitalization.

The Baltic Index of 14 Latvian, Lithuania and Estonian blue chip prices in euros dropped 1.48 percent to 156.28 over the week.

Still, sharp gains on world markets and Moody's upgrade of Hansapank's ratings may lead to a Baltic rebound.

Ten stocks on the Baltic List went down, two moved upwards and two Lithuanian stocks stayed flat.

Losses by the most highly-capitalized Baltic List stocks naturally brought about a reduction of the list's capitalization from 2.77 billion euros to 2.65 billion euros.

Estonia's Hansapank capitalization shrank below 1 billion euros for the first time in recent months and was at 936 million euros last week.

In absence of major deals the Baltic List weekly turnover fell by half from the previous week to just 2.75 million euros.

Estonian stocks contributed 86 percent of the Baltic List turnover last week with Latvian stocks bringing in 10 percent and Lithuanian stocks 4 percent.

Estonian and Latvian Baltic List stocks dominated on their respective local markets, generating more than 85 percent of turnover on their home bourses last week. In Lithuania this figure was less than 20 percent.

A downward trend in the last week prevailed on the Tallinn Stock Exchange; Hansapank stock lost about 10 percent of its value.

The TALSE index closed 10.07 points or 5.84 percent lower over the week at 162.35. Calculated in euros, the price index of five Estonian Baltic List shares fell 4.01 percent to 140.59 points for the same period of time.

The total turnover generated in the five days of trading was 38 million kroons (2.4 million euros).

"The spotlight last week was on the Hansapank share due to its drastic fall," Riho Talumaa, a trader at Suprema, said.

Hansapank finished 9.99 percent down over the week at 184.63 kroons. The turnover, at 27.5 million kroons, accounted for 72 percent of the stock exchange's total turnover this week.

Talumaa said the selling might be due to the weakness of foreign markets as Hansapank's results aren't yet out. The bank is publishing its Q2 interim report on Aug. 23.

Eesti Telekom shed 0.45 percent during the week, ending at 68.85 kroons with a turnover of 6.04 million kroons.

Latvian stocks slid downward last week, resulting in a decline of the capitalization index Dow Jones Riga Stock Exchange and the Latvian component of the Baltic Index.

DJRSE lost 2.18 percent to 173.64 points last week, and the euro price index of Latvian Baltic List stocks dropped 1.55 percent to 191.58 points.

The two indexes are under the strong influence of three Latvian companies from the transportation and energy sector quoted both on the Riga Stock Exchange's official list and the Baltic list: Latvijas Gaze, Latvijas Kugnieciba (LASCO) and Ventspils Nafta oil terminal. All three closed down last week.

Experts and investors grew cautious over the full replacement of LASCO's management last week although experts feel positive about the new company leaders, considering their professional shipping experience.

LASCO shares last week sank 5.7 percent to 0.33 lats on trade of 31,000 lats (51,600 euros).

Venstpils Nafta oil terminal also saw official replacement of management and reported semiannual results that showed profits down from 2001.

VN last week skidded 1.5 percent to 0.65 lats per share on a turnover of 4,000 lats.

Latvijas Gaze continued on a downward slide last week, shedding 1.12 percent to 5.26 lats (closing price) on a trade of 140,200 lats.

Liepajas ML steelworks, though saw 26.3 percent growth to 0.24 lats in the wake of good semi-annual financial results.

The Lithuanian market remained stuck in the midsummer doldrums. All indexes ended the week down, led by heavyweight Lietuvos Telekomas.

The benchmark price index Litin-10 was off 0.15 percent to 1216.77 points, the blue chip index Litin eased 1.61 percent to 300.48 points, while the broad index Litin-G edged down 0.70 percent to 914.67 points.

Due to sharp gains posted by the knitwear company Utenos Trikotazas, the euro price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List shares rose by 0.61 percent to 151.77 points, close to a record high.

The equities turnover on the bourse reached just 1.6 million litas (460,000 euro). The turnover of the Lithuanian Baltic List shares came to 416,000 litas, 18 percent of the total.