CAPITAL MARKETS

The same old dust at the Exchange

THE SLOVAK capital market floor, one of the smallest stock exchanges in central Europe, will again be full of dust in 2002.
Last year's hopes that the share market may be revived with minority stakes of the privatised state companies are gone as government did not put them on the stock exchange as it originally promised.
"I do not even expect any impulse which could change the current state on the share market," said Róbert Prega, an analyst with Tatra Banka.


Slovak stock exchange brokers will not be as busy as this man in 2002
photo: TASR

THE SLOVAK capital market floor, one of the smallest stock exchanges in central Europe, will again be full of dust in 2002.

Last year's hopes that the share market may be revived with minority stakes of the privatised state companies are gone as government did not put them on the stock exchange as it originally promised.

"I do not even expect any impulse which could change the current state on the share market," said Róbert Prega, an analyst with Tatra Banka.

Analysts expect Bratislava Stock Exchange(BSE) with a market capitalisation of $3 billion, $47 billion less than the capitalisation of the exchange in Prague to be the same as in 2001.

"I think the question whether the shares trade on BSE should not be traded on the bigger stock exchange abroad should be opened," said Ján Tóth, an analyst with ING Barings bank.

But while the share market will be in torpor in 2002, the bond market is expected to revive with more issues of state bonds due in 2002.

"The government would need the money to repay its debt in 2002 , so it will be issuing bonds to get this money," said Marek Gábriš, an analyst with ČSOB bank.

While in the second half of 2001 government made only two bond auctions in the first quarter of 2002, it has planned 12. The state bonds constitute the key part of the bond market in Slovakia.

"The Slovak bond market is dependant on the issues of state bonds and investors prefer to buy them although their revenues from this operation are lower, but they have the guarantee of repayment," Gábriš said.

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