Business News


Mercator, Letrika Privatisations Give Stock Market Fresh Impetus

Ljubljana, 30 June (STA) - Shares in the Ljubljana Stock Exchange rose more than 4% last week, fuelled primarily by the news about the privatisation of two Slovenian companies - grocer Mercator and car electronics maker Letrika. Turnover was also high at over EUR 11m during the four trading days as financial markets were closed Wednesday due to a holiday.

The SBI TOP benchmark index was up 4.33% to 809.78 points as Mercator, whose sale to Croatia's Agrokor gave wings to stock brokers, was the most successful blue chip, adding 8.61% to EUR 82.

Having acquired a 53% stake in Slovenia's biggest grocer, Agrokor is now expected to publish a takeover intent for the remaining Mercator stock at EUR 86 per share, which values the 47% stake - owned by banks, companies and small shareholders - at EUR 153m.

Financial analyst Luka Gubo of Numerica Partners believes this could fuel a further rise in the price of shares as demand for stock could increase when small shareholders get fresh funds from selling.

The stock market also received a push by the 20 June news that an almost 54% stake in car electronics maker Letrika was sold to Germany's automotive parts manufacturer Mahle. The share added 20.39% to EUR 65.01 last week, accounting for EUR 2.25m in weekly turnover.

The biggest gains overall last week were recorded by brewer Pivovarna Laško, which was up 22.36% to EUR 11.

While Letrika and Pivovarno Laško are trading outside the benchmark index, all blue chips also ended the week in the black.

Port operator Luka Koper added 8.14% to EUR 23.25, reinsurer Sava Re was up 6% to EUR 13.25, telco Telekom Slovenije gained 5.33% to EUR 144.30 and household appliance maker Gorenje added 5.11% to EUR 5.35.

The most coveted item of the week, which accounted for EUR 2.44m of the total turnover, Krka was up 4.56% to EUR 70, insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav added 2.29 to EUR 23 and energy company Petrol gained 1.11% to EUR 227.05.

The SBI TOP closed 23.5% higher than at the start of 2014.

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