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Markets exceptionally dull

  • 2002-12-12
  • Thomas Foulquier
RIGA

This past week stock market activity remained low, the Baltic Index finishing at at 161.8, fuelling continuous rumors about the market's long term independance.

As usual, Estonia was the driving force thanks to its two market-leading stocks.Eesti Telekom, which accounts for 10 percent of the Baltic Index's capitalization, reached 6.04 euros, while Hansabank, which alone comprises three-quarters of the Baltic Index, finished the week ending Dec. 9 with a share price of 15.05 euros.

Lasco and Ventspils Nafta were the only noticeable stocks on a dull Latvian market this week.

Leonid Alshansky, head of analysis at RB Securities, described trading as depressed, with the lack of liquidity affecting all stocks.

Alshanksyy said that Lasco, although up 3.48 percent over the week to 0.41 euro, was still recovering after being badly hurt by questions about its ability to renew its fleet and a possible tightening of European Union regulations on port controls after the Prestige disaster.

The latest rounds of talks between European Union officials and Russia on the matter are not likely to push up its stock, said the analyst.

Control over Ventspils Nafta, according to Alshansky, is likely to be decided in the near future. The company is still suffering from the Russian strategy of redirecting its oil exports from the Latvian port to the newly built terminal of Primorsk.

Another loser for this week was Norma, the seat belt maker for the Russian automotive industry, with its price down 2 percent to 3.96 euros over the week.