Estonian chips tumble hard

  • 2003-01-23
  • Thomas Foulquier

Baltic blue chips gained 0.44 percent over the week, with the Baltic Index reaching 170.6 points. Estonian stocks made up nine-tenths of all turnover (4.9 million euros) with investors interest toward Hansapank and Eesti Telekom remaining strong.

"The week started with a major sell-off of Hansapank and Eesti Telekom stock by foreign investors in a one-off selling pressure," LHV Investment Bank broker Alo Vallikivi told BNS.

"The price recovered slightly concerning Hansapank on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Telekom continued to slip."

As a result both Hansapank and Eesti Telekom made it to this week's losers list, falling 1.86 percent and 5.51 percent respectively.

Latvian stocks failed to grab investors' interest, with most of the news concerning recent political events and the situation involving the Ventspils Nafta oil terminal.

Analysts said it is still unclear whether the Russian pressure being put on Ventspils Nafta is for a stake in the terminal for cash (at a low price) or a swap of shares against crude oil supply contracts.

Venspils Nafta was flat over the week, closing at 1.05 euro.

The other Latvian stock that showed some activity this week was Latvijas Gaze. Rietumu Bank assets management and brokerage services department detailed the planned sale of Latvijas Gaze subsidiary, Latvijas Propana Gaze, the liquefied gas company that holds 50 percent of the Latvian market. Itera Latvia, Russia's Yukos and Lukoil have been named as possible buyers in an auction expected to start at 5.02 million lats (8.23 million euros).

The biggest gainers of the week were in Lithuania, though the Lithuanian Baltic List stocks accounted for only 6.29 percent of the list's total weekly turnover.

Lithuania's Ekranas, the tele-vision tubes maker, and Snaige refrigerator maker climbed 3.02 percent and 2.15 percent respectively, while fixed-line phone operator Lietuvos Telekomas, whose CEO expressed confidence that the company will be able to compete in the deregulated market, finished the week up 1.08 percent.