Baltic blue chips mixed, index flat

  • 2000-07-06
Rising share prices in Latvia and Estonia last week almost outweighed
the losses in Lithuania, as the Baltic Index stabilized at 105.4, off
just 0.22 percent. Two stocks on the Baltic List, Latvijas Gaze and
Optiva Pank, jumped by 12-13 percent amid light trading, while
Lithuania's Kalnapilis brewery plummeted nearly 16 percent. Losers
outpaced gainers nine to seven on the Baltic List, which is composed
of blue-chip stocks listed on the Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius bourses.

Market stabilization plus growth posted by Lietuvos Telekomas can be
regarded as the most important event on the Lithuanian bourse. The
Estonian blue-chips traded on the Baltic List were pushed up by a 12
percent rise in Optiva Pank, which is to be excluded from the Baltic
List as of July 3.

The share turnover on the Baltic List continued its decline last week
and amounted to just 3.64 million euros ($3.48 mln), although in
Lithuania trading took place for six days instead of a normal five
day trading week. Estonia regained its position as the turnover
leader as its Baltic List stocks saw a turnover of 2.67 million
euros, accounting for 73 percent of the list's total during the week.
The turnover generated by Lithuanian stocks accounted for 18.37
percent while Latvian stocks were responsible for just 8.36 percent.

The Baltic List's capitalization on July 1 was 3.02 billion euros,
Optiva Pank's shares included, up 0.8 percent over the week.
Estonia's share in the list's capitalization was 1.85 billion euros
(+0.8 percent), Latvian 425 million euros (+2.6 percent) and
Lithuanian 756 million euros (+0.53 percent).

Stock prices in Tallinn lack uniform trend

Stock prices on the Tallinn Stock Exchange lacked any uniform trend
during the last week with the bourse's official index TALSE gaining
1.08 percent to 136.85. Hansapank expert Romet Tepper believes the
market was mostly affected by the negative court ruling concerning
the 6 million kroons ($366,967) worth of shares in Hansapank,
belonging to HTAS. "Unclarity was brought about by putting under
doubts the legality of [the] Hansapank and Hoiupank merger. Therefore
Hansapank began moving downward at the beginning of the week. At the
end of the week buying interest in Hansapank's shares appeared both
in Estonia and abroad," the expert said. Thebank's share price fell
1.2 percent to 123.5 kroons.

Uhispank meanwhile enjoyed active trading. Buying interest abroad
raised the bank's share price by 2.81 percent to 29.3 kroons. Eesti
Telekom recovered from its lowest level and Friday closed at 111

"Norma's shares grew significantly. All investors know the shares are
too cheap," Tepper said. For Norma the share price grew 1.58 percent
to 38.5 kroons. Tepper said buying of Norma's shares begins when its
price is around the 40 kroons level.

Among other news worth mentioning was that the launch of paying for
privatized land in July reactivated trading in privatization vouchers
(EVP), trading at 0.52 kroons. Tepper expects the EVP price next week
will be 0.52-0.53 kroons.

"June with its low turnovers is over," he said. He believes trading
will increase in July on publication of the corporate six month
operational results.

Turnover on the Tallinn Stock Exchange last week was 63.8 million kroons.

The Latvian stock market saw activity dropping to a critical low

Trading activity on the Latvian stock market seemed virtually
nonexistent with the total weekly turnover reaching a mere 250,000
lats ($416,666). The market almost felt no influence from the good
news about significant growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) and
a reduction in the current account deficit, made public last week.

Almost all leading stocks posted losses amid low activity, with some
bounce occuring only on Friday; the end of the month and of the
half-year period served as the reactivating factor for some
investors, it appeared. The price index RICI fell 0.69 percent to
167.42 while the capitalization index DJRSE gained 1.24 percent to

Latvijas Gaze on June 30 closed at a new record high at 2.40 lats,
shooting up 12.38 percent. The growth is hardly attributable to the
outcome of the gas company's shareholders meeting, as these results
came in as expected. On the contrary - the news about the payment of
huge premium wages to the company's employees in the amount of 1.7
million lats was hardly received joyfully by shareholders.

The share price surge seems more explainable whereby the end of the
half-year period triggered buying of shares in substantial amounts by
several large investors, trying to push up the price, and thus
increase the balance value of their investment portfolios.

Stock turnovers were extremely low, although block deals worth
100,000 lats in shares of Balta insurance company slightly improved
general trading levels.

Most of the experts believe recovery in trading activity in Latvia is
unlikely in the near future. Slight improvement could only be
expected in the second half of July when companies will begin
releasing their six month profit figures.

Lithuanian market steady last week

Following certain nervousness early last week the shares in Lietuvos
Telekomas stabilized at 2.68 litas ($0.67) on the Lithuanian National
Stock Exchange, with total market turnover declining considerably.
The Lithuanian stock indexes last week lacked a uniform trend.

The stock exchange index LITIN grew 1.29 percent to 483.93, LITIN-A
gained 0.93 percent to 1055.81 while LITIN-10 was down by 0.53
percent to 1035.1.

Kalnapilis brewery fell a sharp 16 percent. The brokers said investor
interest in other blue-chips, which have remained in neglect for
three weeks, is expected to return only after price fluctuations of
Lietuvos Telekomas cease.

Lietuvos Telekomas fell early to 2.54 litas at the beginning of the
week, recovered by 1.66 percent and closed at 2.68 litas. The
telecommunications company's shares changed hands for 2.21 million
litas during six days of trading on the Lithuanian bourse.

Shares in Vilniaus Bankas dropped 0.71 percent to 29.8 litas, with
volume reaching only 250,700 litas. The brokers said that although
Vilniaus Bankas had a low turnover, the fact that demand for the
bank's shares is gradually returning shows a positive trend.
Kalnapilis brewery plummeted 15.62 percent to 3.08 litas on a small
turnover of 150 euros. The major problem is still very lowliquidity.

Among other news, Rokiskio Suris cheese company saw trading in its
shares picking up. The cheese company is being mentioned as the
potential investor in the Birziai dairy. Rokiskio Suris share price
grew to 22 litas at the middle of the week but later was down again
to 20.65 litas.

From the second list stocks Lietuvos Energija energy company was the
most active stock, changing hands for 330,100 litas on the central
market for the previously established price of 5 litas per share.
Lietuvos Draudimas insurance company plummeted 10.07 percent to
202.34 litas on a turnover of 50,600 litas.

Ukio Bankas meanwhile saw its share price tumbling by 6.85 percent to
4.62 litas, the turnover was 85,100 lats. Mazeikiu Nafta was up 5.41
percent to 0.78 litas on a turnover of 70,000 litas on the central
market. Hansabanka's broker Tomasas Andrejauskas said the trading in
Mazeikiu, to some extent, was reactivated by a statement from the
Lithuanian economics minister about progress in negotiations between
Mazeikiu Nafta and the Russian company LUKoil.

Stock turnover in the six trading sessions on the Lithuanian bourse
last week was 10.3 million litas.