Slovakia's official SAX index fell 5.36 points to a new year-low of 104.52 on September 23, in very quiet trading on the Bratislava Stock Exchange (BSE) during the last week. Only two issues traded and 154 stocks changed hands on the BSE's listed floor. Brokers said they saw a continuation of the downtrend.
The Slovak stock market has been mired in low liquidity and light foreign investors activity over the past few months as the general negative perception of Slovakia's market enviroment intensified amid uncertainty over the September 25-26 national elections.
"The market is very depressed at the moment and I expect even further declines in the near future," one local broker said, adding that he did not expect this to change soon after the elections. "Only foreign investors could change this for the better, but the market environment will not become stable enough for them immediately after the elections," he added.
Slovakia's largest steel maker VSŽ fell 12.6% to pull the 16-share SAX index down in sluggish trading on the BSE on September 22. VSŽ, the second most-heavily weighted issue on the SAX, closed down 49 Sk at 316, losing 0.9% in its average price, but traded a mere 10 pieces which, traders said, was too small a volume to indicate any longer term trend.
"It is hard to say whether things will change after the elections. Foreign investors are asking about it, but so far we see only interest in selling. We do not see anyone wanting to invest," Dušan Sýkora, a stock trader at CA IB said.
Drug maker Slovakofarma fell 215 Sk to close at 1,985, on 144 traded shares, while oil refiner Slovnaft fell 32 Sk to 648, trading five pieces.
Overall volume, including direct trades registered at the bourse, fell to 92,112 shares from 135,437 shares traded on September 22. Turnover decreased to 52.65 million Sk ($1.52 million) from 77.98 million.
24. Sep 1998 at 0:00 | Peter Javurek