Equity prices slip again

  • 2003-09-25
  • Baltic News Service
Baltic equity fell slightly over the Sept. 15 – 19 period, marking the second straight week of losses as investors move to fix profits after months of head-spinning gains. The Baltic Index of 15 Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian blue chips fell 0.64 percent to finish at 291.66 on Sept. 19.
Baltic List turnover also was down slightly to 22.3 million euros. As usual, more than a half, or 56.5 percent, of total turnover came on Estonian stocks, while interest in Latvian equity soared, contributing 37.4 percent of total Baltic turnover.
The week's winners were Vilniaus Vingis, Lithuania's electronic components producer, whose stock soared 9.1 percent, while Hansapank rose 6.2 percent in Tallinn, and Ventspils Nafta charged ahead by 5.7 percent.
In Tallinn, analysts said the week was characterized by a lack of a defined trend.
"Smaller shares like Merko and Harju Elekter were more affected by profit-taking," Trigon Markets broker Mehis Raud said. "Hansapank's substantial rise at the start of the week allowed it to end in positive territory, [while] Eesti Telekom effectively followed the levels of the London Stock Exchange."
Market leader Hansapank was the week's biggest gainer on the Tallinn bourse, finishing 6.2 percent higher than the previous week on turnover of 156.1 million kroons (10 million euros).
Eesti Telekom slipped 0.7 percent in the five days, ending at 114.2 kroons.
The week's biggest loser was the candy maker Kalev, which plunged 11.1 percent to 38.65 kroons on fears that the company's scheduled production relocation was not going as planned.
In Latvia, the big news was that LNT, the controlling shareholder in the Ventspils Nafta oil terminal, proposed on Sept. 18 to terminate the 1996 agreement with the government that regulates how the port is managed. The infamous agreement has been a matter of contention between the government and Ventspils managers-owners, and investors greeted the news enthusiastically.
On Sept. 19 Ventspils Nafta stock soared on the bourse, closing at 1.29 lats (2.02 euros), with the weekly gain reaching 3.2 percent.
In Lithuania, the country's two power distribution companies were the market's top gainers, with investors encouraged by the successful start of the privatization process.
Rytu Skirstomieji Tinklai surged 18.2 percent on turnover of 522,400 litas (160,000 euros), and Vakaru Skirstomieji Tinklai shot up 13.8 percent with 490,700 litas' worth of stock changing hands.
Rokiskio Suris, listed on the Official List, emerged as the market's most-traded stock, ending the week 1 percent lower on 1.8 million litas traded.
Lietuvos Telekomas, the country's leading telecommunication company that just launched a major campaign to win back customers, firmed 3.7 percent on a turnover of 674,500 litas.
Snaige, the refrigerator maker, dropped 1.7 percent, and the Mazeikiu Nafta refinery advanced 4.1 percent over the week.