Czech equity market last week - weak volumes and declining prices
The equity market in Prague declined last week, pushed down predominately by Komercni banka shares, which lost 9.2% to CZK 1,694 on no apparent news, and also by CEZ shares, which lost 4.8% to CZK 88. Both stocks recorded the highest trading activity on the market last week (USD 23.8 mil. and USD 23.2 mil., respectively), accounting for 56% of the overall volume on the PSE, which fell to USD 84.1 mil. (13% below the 12M weekly average). Telecommunication titles also lost last week: Cesky Telecom closed the week down 2.8%, at CZK 310.50, and Ceske radiokomunikace closed down 8.4%, at CZK 331. On the other hand, Philip Morris CR and Unipetrol closed the week stronger, up 8.3% and 2.8%, respectively. PM CR traded at an eight-year high (CZK 10,138) despite a lack of fundamental news, and Unipetrol rode on speculations surrounding Unipetrol privatization. However, these gains did not offset the strong losses, and the PX-D index lost 3.8%, to 1,203.9 points. The PX-50 index was also down, by 2.7% to 451.4 points.
We expect trading in Prague this week to be rather quiet as the London Stock Exchange will be closed today and tomorrow for national holidays and as the approaching general election in the Czech Republic (June 14-15) might mute investor activity. As for Czech blue-chip results, Unipetrol is due to release its audited consolidated 2001 IAS figures on Wednesday, June 5, though they are of minor importance. More importantly for the stock, the IOC consortium that holds a minority stake in Ceska rafinerska is due to announce whether it intends to exercise its majority-stake option in CRa by Thursday, June 6.