Telecoms lift markets to new capitalization heights

  • 2002-11-28
  • Boris Epsteins
The Baltic List's capitalization rose 4 percent to more than 3 billion euros last week, as leading Estonian and Lithuanian telecom stocks gained more than 10 percent.

Nevertheless, despite the upward movement of the blue chips, trading activity on the Baltic markets remained very low, with the Baltic List weekly turnover finishing at 2.87 million euros, or just 574,000 euros in average daily trade.

For comparison, at the end of November 2001 the Baltic List average daily turnover stood at 1.2 million euros.

In Estonia, buoyant moods dominated on the Tallinn Stock Exchange, with the index climbing 5 percent to its highest level in the past four-and-a-half years.

"The rise of the TALSE above the 200 point mark was remarkable," said Alo Vallikivi, trader for the investment bank LHV.

The issue posting the biggest rise during the past week was Eesti Telekom, which soared 10.2 percent to 92.32 kroons. Hansapank climbed 2.5 percent Friday to Friday to finish at 225.62 kroons.

In Latvia, the absence of noteworthy news dampened investor interest. LASCO and its largest shareholder, Ventspils Nafta, were on the downward trend last week.

Latvijas Krajbanka analysts said that the low activity by LASCO employees in subscribing for company shares - only one-third of the offered amount - had an adverse psychological effect on investors.

In Vilnius the Lithuanian stock exchange saw brisk and volatile trading last week, as investors showed strong interest in shares of blue chip Lietuvos Telekomas.

Listed on the blue chip Official List, Lietuvos Telekomas, the monopoly fixed-phone operator, surged by 10.1 percent to 0.98 litas (0.28 euros). The stock has soared by 30 percent in less than a month.

Martynas Kulvinskas, head of the securities trading unit at Zemes Ukio Bankas the land bank, said that heavy trading in Lietuvos Telekomas' shares implied that not only local, but also large foreign investors were interested in the company's stock.