The Tallinn Stock Exchange (Nasdaq Tallinn AS) has fallen by 15 percent in the first nine months of this year as healthy buying at the end of last year initially shored up prices. Experts say this fall may continue.
Sander Pikkel, head of brokerage at Estonian bank LHV, told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Monday that: "This year, compared with last year, the Tallinn Stock Exchange has moved in a completely different direction."
"Whereas last autumn all shares were bought up willingly, as pension money was freed up, this year we can see a decrease in transaction activity and the amounts to be invested have also fallen."
Meelis Maasik, Swedbank's senior financial markets broker, said: "I think that the decline will continue here, for as long as inflation is on the rise and as long as the central banks of the world do not raise interest rates anymore. If interest rates have already found some type of ceiling and talk about lowering interest rates starts, this could probably be the turning point when the stock markets bottom out."
Peter Priisalm, Head of Investments at Avaron Asset Management, told AK that: "Should share prices fall, this would reflect the fact that investors expect the situation to become more difficult.
"Has the worst-case scenario been evaluated to date? I think that probably not in the Baltic markets, because the central feature of this market is mainly the role of small investors; there are few institutional foreign investors here, and I think that small investors react a little slower to events and many may hold these instruments with a long perspective."
Sander Pikkel at LHV added that: "If investors really have to start withdrawing money from companies in order to cover their utility or loan costs, we may see some decline here, but in general, insofar as we have observed the share lists of the Tallinn Stock Exchange, it would appear that for wealthier individuals who have this money for everyday expenses, still investing here perhaps won't be not necessary," said
AK reported that all and sundry with any spare cash late last year put their money into the Tallinn Stock Exchange, for instance via the Enefit Green IPO.
In many cases this "spare" money resulted from the liberalization of the second pillar of the Estonian pension system, referring to employer/employee contributions and mandatory for most wage earners until it was made optional, from early 2021.
This had the effect of buoying up the market, but this year, it has been in decline, and is likely to continue to do so.
A small investor who, for example, bought stocks at the beginning of the year as a hedge against inflation, could have lost another 16.4 percent of their assets in the intervening nine months.
Nonetheless, experts recommend caution, rather than wholesale selling.
Nasdaq Tallinn is the only regulated secondary securities market in Estonia and had 22 companies on its main list as of August.
Editor: Andrew Whyte