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Nov 19, 2007 18:51 EEST
BELGRADE (Serbia), November 19 (SeeNews) – Belgrade Stock Exchange (BELEX) indices started the week in the red but bank shares remained actively traded by investors, brokers said.
“There is still no change for the better,” Nikola Tepavcevic, a broker with Confidence brokerage, told SeeNews. “It has been some two months now with a constant fall.”
The blue-chip index BELEX15 fell 1.51% to close at 2,410.21 points. The broader BELEXline index lost 0.83% to finish at 4,000.53. The joint SRX index of the bourses in Belgrade and Vienna dropped 2.51% to end at 1,351.91. Total turnover rose to 277 million dinars ($5.2 million/3.5 million euro) from 267 million on Friday.
The Serbian stock market reached daily record highs through the spring but then sank in tiny volumes and listless trading through the summer months. An anticipated market revival turned into continuous falls through September to end in a slide which many called “the red October” on the Belgrade bourse. November has been similar.
Market participants say they can hardly find an explanation for the sluggish trade other than the unresolved issue of the future status of the Serbian province of Kosovo, which jeopardizes Serbia’s political and economic stability. 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 Albanian majority insists on it.
A new round of internationally mediated talks on the status of Kosovo started in September with a December 10 deadline. "The question is whether this December 10 will solve anything at all,” Tepavcevic said.
“The banks are still among the most popular shares. Metals Banka, AIK Banka and Agrobanka were the most traded today,” Tepavcevic said.
Blue chip Metals Banka edged up 0.06% to 48,939 dinars in 24 million dinars of turnover, the largest for the day. The second most traded was another blue-chip commercial bank, AIK Banka, which dropped 3.24% to 9,972 dinars in 22 million dinars of turnover, while blue chip Agrobanka fell 0.79% to 24,084 dinars in 18 million dinars of turnover.
(1 euro = 78.0719 dinars)
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