Transactions to sell state-owned shares formed capital market’s core in 2008, Natan Garstea

The transactions conducted on the Moldova Stock Exchange in 2008 totaled 991 million lei. This volume is lower than in 2007, Info-Prim Neo reports. Natan Garstea, director general of the Rating and Evaluation Agency Estimator VM, says that the results achieved in 2008 are not bad for Moldova’s capital market, but cannot be compared with the results of 2007. The over 2,600 transactions carried out on the Stock Exchange in 2007 came to 1.2 billion lei. A large part of these transactions were performed on the interactive segment of the market, i.e. they were selling-purchase transactions. According to Garstea, the transactions to sell state-owned shares took the first position in the list of transactions performed on the Stock Exchange in 2008. They totaled 468 million lei, an increase of over 500% compared with 2007. Garstea considers that these transactions formed the core of the capital market in 2008. All the other categories of transactions saw decreases. For example, the number of interactive (selling-purchase) transactions dropped by 37%. The volume of tender offers was by 78% lower, while number of outcry auctions fell by 43% on a year before. “Anyway, we see that the capital market in Moldova is growing more mature as the small dealings in shares are replaced by large transactions. In 2007, the investors performed mainly transactions with bank shares, but now they turn their attention to other segments of the market – constructions, food industry, processing industry,” he said. Natan Garstea says that the prices of bank shares reached high levels and are not so attractive to investors anymore. On the other hand, an important moment that determines the investor’s choice is the fact that the banks are transparent in their activity. Their websites provide information about shareholders, investment policy and partners. It is very hard to obtain such information from companies working in other areas. The stock exchange indicator, which shows the average level of prices on the stock exchange, had increased in the first half of last year, reaching a maximum value of 2,376 points on June 2. Afterward, it started to decrease and lost 100 points until the end of the year. There are a number of causes. At the start of summer, the National Bank introduced rather severe measures to curb inflation – it raised the refinance rate and the norm of mandatory reserves of the commercial banks. These measures have led to a reduction in the money supply. Consequently, the value of transactions on the Stock Exchange and the prices of shares dropped significantly. The world financial crisis that arose in September-October did not directly affect Moldova’s financial market, but influenced the expectations of the investors. They are more precautious when spending money and more attentive when purchasing shares. “Generally, the consequences of the world financial crisis will be limited in Moldova. Some of the construction companies will eventually lose ground and the volume of remittances will decrease slightly. So, the crisis will come not through the financial market, but through some of the segments of the real sector. As the exporting companies will face difficulties, we will probably witness different fusions, changes of owners and other events,” Natan Garstea said.

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