Top capitalized Baltic stocks fall again

  • 2002-08-15
  • Boris Epsteins
Continued downward movement of the most liquid and highly capitalized Baltic List stocks - Eesti Telekom, Hansapank and Latvijas Kugnieciba (LASCO) shipping company resulted in a further reduction of the Baltic List capitalization.

At the same time, the Baltic Index of 14 Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian blue chips increased a little due to gains by less liquid Estonian and Lithuanian stocks, inching up 0.9 percent to 157.9 points over the week.

Losses by Eesti Telekom, Hansapank and Lietuvos Telekomas, together with a steep decline of LASCO, accounted for an 0.7 percent reduction of the Baltic List capitalization to 2.63 billion euros.

Estonian stocks contributed 59.5 percent of the weekly total and Latvian stocks brought in 33.5 percent.

For Lithuanian stocks it was only 7 percent.

As usual, Estonian Baltic List stocks dominated on the local market, generating over 90 percent of stock market turnover on the Tallinn bourse. In Latvia this figure was 73 percent but in Lithuania 45 percent.

After moving down in the first half of the last week, stock prices began to recover at small turnovers toward the end of the week, yet both Hansapank and Eesti Telekom ended lower than a week ago.

However, the price index of Estonian Baltic List shares rose due to strong gains posted by stocks with relatively low liquidity: Tallinna Kaubamaja, Merko Ehitus and Norma.

The turnover in the five days of trading totaled 45.4 million kroons (2.8 million euros). Baltic List shares generated 43 million kroons in turnover, 95 percent of the total.

Eesti Telekom led trade with 20.3 million kroons in turnover but ended the week 1.15 percent lower than a week ago at 66.97 kroons.

Hansapank finished 0.25 percent down at 183.85 kroons, generating 19.7 million kroons in the five days.

Investors are waiting for Hansapank's second-quarter interim report which is due out in two weeks or Aug. 23.

Latvijas Kugnieciba shipping company moved down last week, and all Latvian stock exchange indexes followed the trend.

The Dow Jones Riga Stock Exchange capitalization index fell 2.43 percent to 167.5 points, and the price index RICI dropped 1.95 percent to 213.08 points.

The Latvian index of Baltic List stock prices in euros also lost 1.75 percent over the week to 186.31 points.

The weekly turnover on the stock market was 1.27 million lats (2.2 million euros).

Most of the total turnover was received from several block deals with shares in Latvijas Gaze gas company as well as a single deal with shares in Ogre knitwear producer quoted on the free list.

Latvian Baltic List stocks together generated 920,000 lats in trade last week or 73 percent of the total stock market turnover.

LASCO shares sank 9.1 percent to 0.3 lats over the week, bringing in 11,000 lats in trade.

Latvijas Krajbanka savings bank experts said investors with speculative intentions had been disappointed at the statement by LASCO management about the new owners of the company, Ventspils Nafta oil terminal, not planning to dispose of its holdings in LASCO in the near future.

Should Ventspils Nafta sell its holdings in LASCO, the potential buyer will most likely have to make a mandatory buy-out offer to small shareholders at a price well above the current market value of the stock as required under effective regulations.

Trading activity in Lithuania picked up Aug. 9, but the boost was short-lived.

Still, the bourse's major indexes moved higher over the week - the benchmark price index Litin-10 advanced 1.10 percent to 1237.04 points; the blue chip index Litin closed 0.90 percent higher at 309.42 points.

The broad index Litin-G went up 1.87 percent to 942.17 points.

Also calculated in euros, the price index of six Lithuanian Baltic List shares went up 1.35 percent to 156.4 points - a record high.

The week's equity turnover reached 2.47 million litas (690,000 euros). Baltic List securities generated 1.11 million litas, 45 percent of the total.

On the central market, electronics firms on the blue chip Official List ended the week amid the highest trading volumes.

TV-tube manufacturer Ekranas soared 8.06 percent to 6.17 litas with 196,230 litas' worth of shares traded.

Blue chip Lietuvos Telekomas fell 0.91 percent to 1.09 litas amid a turnover of 77,100 litas.

Refrigerator producer Snaige held steady at 65 litas with 74,100 litas' worth of shares traded.