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Oct 23, 2007 18:42 EEST
BELGRADE (Serbia), October 23 (SeeNews) – The shares of the blue-chip companies on the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) ended in the red for a tenth consecutive session on Tuesday amid lack of new investors and market apathy, brokers said.
“It’s the tenth day the Serbian shares fall,” Mirko Trivunovic, a broker with Fidelity brokerage, told SeeNews. “I can’t see any reason for that. It might be connected to politics.”
“There is simply no demand and no investors and we have some apathy. No fresh money comes from foreigners, while domestic ones are as if nailed to shares and don’t twitch,” he added.
Last month a new round of talks on the status of the volatile U.N.-run southern Serbian province of Kosovo started and market players said potential investors are avoiding the Serbian bourse and awaiting the outcome of the talks, which have a December 10 deadline.
The U.S. and most EU countries are thought to be ready to recognise Kosovo’s independence, while Russia and Serbia adamantly oppose it. However, Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority have repeatedly said they will unilaterally declare independence after December 10 if it is not granted.
“It is not all as black as it looks as we are not in some political crisis, although somehow we are because of this uncertainty around Kosovo,” Trivunovic said.
Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since NATO bombs drove out Serb forces amid inter-ethnic fighting in 1999. Serbs oppose any form of independence for the province while Kosovo's ethnic Albanians insist on it.
Blue-chip AIK Banka was the most traded company in turnover terms on BELEX on Tuesday. It slipped 0.10% to 10,884 dinars ($201/141 euro) in 35 million dinars of turnover.
“It had the biggest volume as it is under 11,000 [dinars] and that is a good price for AIK Banka,” Trivunovic said. “This stock is, according to me, worth somewhere between 15,000 and 18,000, compared to its profit and potential. Besides, no one has more than 20% in it.”
AIK Banka’s first-half net profit rose 83.58% on the year to 1.8 billion dinars. Greece's ATE Bank is the largest single shareholder in the Serbian bank with a 20.3% stake.
The blue-chip index of the Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX), BELEX15, went down a further 0.36% to 2,734.61 points, while the broader BELEXline index dropped 0.35% to 4,373.16 points. The joint SRX index of the bourses in Belgrade and Vienna fell by 0.53% to 1,567.74. Total BELEX turnover rose to 417 million dinars from 337 million dinars on Monday.
(1 euro = 77.1528 dinars)
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