Nasdaq Tallinn chief: Situation continues to improve

Kaarel Ots.
Kaarel Ots. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tallinn Stock Exchange (Nasdaq Tallinn AS) is in a healthy state despite some contraction in the first half of this year, while new floatations are expected between now and year end, the market's chair, Kaarel Ots, says.

Ots also noted that substantial returns, up to 40 percent in some cases, are in part the result of soaring inflation rates worldwide, rather than necessarily canny investments, and also suggested that the money supply has been boosted at an unprecedented level, which has contributed to this inflation.

Ots told ERR that: "If we take a look at the Tallinn Stock Exchange, we don't see all the companies in the red today; their share prices are not falling. We have some new companies on the market, too."

There is no right or wrong time for a company to take the plunge and float on the stock exchange or to realize its business plans, Ots added.

He said: "The question is what is the fair price of the company, and if it is in place, the right company at the right price can always attract money from investors. And I think we will see this with good examples in the second half of the year."

Ots also said that new companies floating on the exchange will be doing so in a more clear-minded manner than last year, where investments were sometimes a little too "euphoric", he said.

"I think that by now many have had time to analyze their positions a bit, and I do not see any big drama now," he wen ton.

At the end of last year, the combined market value of all listed companies on the Tallinn Stock Exchange came to €5.3 billion, whereas by the start of July this year, it stood at €4.7-4.8billion.

The Tallinn Stock Exchange index (OMXTGI) rose by as much as 49 percent last year, but has has contracted in the first half of this year, and had already started to decline from November 2021.

Ots disagreed with this analysis, however, calling the viewpoint "simplistic" and expressing hope that no investor or potential investor would take such a short-term view.

Inflation also had its effects on returns, he added.

"Naturally, I don't want to say any bad words to the effect that investors did not make wise decisions, but I would assert that if the world's average return on stock markets, for a little more than 200 years, has remained below seven percent, then I would express doubt whether all those who earned here, for example, 40 percent per annum by investing in the S&P500, whether they were genius investors or in fact got a slice of these inflation-driven stock prices. We see exactly the same pattern in real estate," he added.

"What we're seeing now is that the markets have realized that the era of zero interest rates is over. This has been a very long time coming, and I imagine the discovery that money has a price, actually sent shares of a lot of companies down.

"Primarily this referred to those firms where people were accustomed to growth being the only important thing. In that case, it doesn't matter at all whether there is any theoretical path to profit whatsoever."

This hints that there was a lot of air in a lot of stock market prices, while the issue also relates to the money supply, he said.

"If, in the space of a year, we make somewhere around five times more than we have done historically, we know that money has been printed at a greater rate than ever before. We know that the reason why money has been printed is rather questionable. So now to be surprised about this, that it was accompanied by inflation, first in assets and now in consumer prices, then I would call this a form of self-delusion."

Nonetheless, the situation overall was healthy, he added.

"All in all, I would absolutely not dramatize what has been happening. I think it is rather healthy for the market, companies and investors."


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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