Baltic stock market capitalization grows

  • 2002-11-21
  • Boris Epsteins
The Baltic's blue chip stocks gained ground last week, pushing up the capitalization of the Baltic List.

But despite rising prices, trading activity remained weak, with the Baltic List's weekly turnover amounting to only 2.33 million euros, just slightly more than the previous week.

In Estonia, there was no clear price movement on the Tallinn Stock Exchange last week, and thanks to deals with shares in Hansapank and Eesti Telekom the TALSE index crept up 1.44 percent over the week.

Lauri Lind, broker at Hansabank Markets, said Norma, which ended the week flat, may come under new pressure with a new strike at AutoVAZ, Russia's largest car maker.

The focus of attention on the Latvian bourse was the Latvian Shipping Company. Latvian Privatization Agency Director Arnis Ozolnieks did not rule out that the shipping company's financial results for the whole of 2002 will not be as bad as planned under the budget providing for loss in the amount of 4.6 million lats (7.66 million euros).

All signs indicate that Ozolnieks may be right, since specialists expect significant growth in freight rates for oil transportation in the wake of the Prestige tanker catastrophe, whose fuel oil was loaded near the Ventspils port.

In Lithuania, leading blue chip stock Lietuvos Telekomas made further gains in trading last week, as did shares of oil group Mazeikiu Nafta.

Oil group Mazeikiu Nafta last week rocketed up 13.85 percent to 0.74 litas (0.21 euros).

Arvydas Jacikevicius of Suprema investment bank said that large buying orders impliet that foreign investors have taken interest in Mazeikiu Nafta's shares. The oil group's rally on the Lithuanian bourse can also be linked to the negotiations between the government and Yukos, Russia's second largest oil company, on Mazeikiu Nafta's management agreement.