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LASCO plunges, Hansapank jumps

  • 2002-12-19
  • Thomas Foulquier
RIGA

With Baltic List stocks posting a turnover of more than 15 million euros last week, the blue chip Baltic Index ended the week at 164.36, up 1.57 percent.

On the Estonian stock market Hansapank and Eesti Telekom accounted for 77 percent of weekly turnover, with Hansapank finishing at 15.6 euros.

"Hansapank share was supported by the raising of price targets by analysts at the beginning of the week," Trigon Markets director Kristel Kivinurm said. "Also the rating upgrade by Moody's was positive news."

Eesti Telekom, trading near its two-year high, finished at 6.02 euros, though it had peaked during the week to 6.27 euros.

In Latvia, market trends remained unchanged over the week.

Latvijas Kugnieciba (LAS CO), the Latvian shipping company, accounted for 93.6 percent of market activity, thanks to a block deal on Dec. 11 in which 8.927 million shares changed hands. But the stock plunged 8.7 percent over the week on a spate of bad news.

Experts said the stock could fall to 0.20 lats because of unfavorable forecasts and planned financial losses. Possible EU restrictions on the use of single-hull tankers in the Baltic Sea were supported by ministers in Estonia and Latvia, and any action in this regard would affect LASCO's bottom line.

Moreover, deregistration of shares sold to LASCO employees will begin next year, and the market is waiting the expected increase in free float.

Ventspils Nafta stock finished the week at 1.07 euros and could retreat next week if traders and investors decide to take into account the Dec. 13 announcement of 11-month cargo turnovers in Latvian ports. Crude oil handing has fallen by nearly 50 percent to 7.44 million tons in the 11 months of this year.

In Vilnius, most of the turnover came from Dec. 12 trades, in which 559,488 shares in Vilniaus Vingis - 6.13 percent of the company's capital stock - changed hands for a total of 3.46 million litas (1 million euros).

Another blue chip, Snaige, the refrigerator maker, posted gains with turnover surpassing 1 million litas. Its stock ended at 23.17 euros. Vingis, a TV and radio component producer, climbed 1.64 percent with turnover reaching an impressive 3.7 million litas.