Paksas assures markets

  • 2003-01-16
  • Thomas Foulquier

Investors this week focused their attention on Lithuania and tried to assess the consequences of the presidential elections results.

President-elect Rolandas Paksas, however, had much to say to reassure the business community. The former Lithuanian prime minister said that while the presidency had little influence over domestic policies, he intended to act as an adviser.

"As president I can say that lower taxes create jobs, and I will encourage both government and Parliament to create conditions that are good for business," Paksas said. Paksas said he wanted to revise the existing tax system and speed up the implementation of a lost-ruble savings compensation scheme. "Lower taxes create jobs. One of my main objectives is to create conditions which would encourage businesses to pay taxes," he said.

The Baltic equity markets were dominated by Estonian Hansapank and Eesti Telekom last week, while overall turnover remained sluggish.

Total turnover for shares on the Baltic List was 3 million euros - 88.4 percent coming from trade in Estonian stocks.

On the Tallinn Stock Exchange, the price of Hansapank shares reached a record high, while Eesti Telekom stock underwent a sharp decline.

Even though trading was slow on the Latvian exchange (2.5 percent of the Baltic List aggregate), there was a sharp rise in Ventspils Nafta's stock and Latvijas Kugnieciba (LASCO). The Latvian index closed at 170.40.

In Vilnius, the LIPI index reached 169.85 points. The fixed-line phone operator Lietuvos Telekomas finished the week 3.1 percent down at 0.27 euros.

Overall, the Baltic Index fell 0.31 percent to 169.9 points. The Lithuanian dairy Pieno Zvaigzdes was the week's gainer (up 9.3 percent), along with two Latvian stocks, Ventspils Nafta oil terminal and LASCO, up 5.8 percent and 4.3 percent respectively.

Two Estonian stocks were among the losers last week, Eesti Telekom (4.7 percent) and Merko Ehitus (4.2 percent). The biggest loser was Lithuania's Rokiskio Suris cheese, down 5.7 percent.