Profit taking dominates

  • 2003-05-29
The Baltic Index of 15 leading blue chips dropped 1.4 percent to 209 over the week on profit taking, as traders moved to fix their gains after the index moved into record territory.

Most of the weekly turnover -91.6 percent, or 10.4 million euros - came on Estonian stocks, while Lithuanian stocks brought in 4.6 percent and Latvian stocks 3.6 percent.

The biggest price gains last week were registered on the Tallinn Stock Exchange, where Tallinna Kaubamaja retail chain charged ahead by 5.5 percent, and the seat-belt maker Norma climbed 1.2 percent.

In fact, Estonian stocks moved in both directions last week, and the most actively traded stocks were Hansapank, Norma and Eesti Telekom.

"Throughout the entire week there were profit takers who were selling shares, but massive buying interest mostly kept shares in positive territory before [May 23]," Suprema trader Riho Talumaa said.

Hansapank has stayed strong so far this year, suffering from no major downward corrections, Talumaa said.

The corrections of Telekom have been steeper, he added.

Hansapank crossed the 280 kroon mark last week to finish at 278.5 (17.8 euros), having seen 129 million kroons in shares change hands.

Eesti Telekom lost 2.1 percent of its value during the week, finishing at 99.67 kroons, while the seat-belt maker Norma gained 1.2 percent to finish at 78.55 kroons.

In Latvia, the fish canner Kaija led the stock market last week, boasting the biggest turnover - 283,600 lats, or 472,000 euros - and steepest price gain at a staggering 63 percent.

Most of the turnover was on block deals made during one session, when 45 of Kaija's shares changed hands.

Through these transactions businessman Imants Kalnins regained the status of the largest shareholder in the cannery under share purchase agreements signed with the Liechtenstein-registered Albacon Anstalt and U.S.-based Caravella companies.

Kaija has been plagued by various troubles, including insolvency claims and a brief delisting for failing to report quarterly results.

The second largest turnover -252,500 lats -was on Ventspils Nafta, though in the end the oil terminal stayed flat at 1 lat per share.

Trading activity was rather quiet on the National Stock Exchange of Lithuania, with the dairy Kelmes Pienine seeing the most activity.

The dairy stocked surged 4.8 percent to 3.8 litas (1.10 euros) on a strong turnover of 900,000 litas. It is believed that the dairy did most of the purchasing itself since it had received shareholders' permission to buy 10 percent of voting shares.

Exactly 10 percent of its stocks were sold.

Among blue chips, Lietuvos Telekomas rose 1.8 percent to 1.1 litas on a turnover of 743,900 litas. The electronic-components maker Vilniaus Vingis dropped by 1.4 percent to 6.9 litas in trade worth 435,500 litas, and the refrigerator manufacturer Snaige fell by 2.1 percent to 138 litas amid a turnover of 34,100 litas.