The Slovenia Times

All That Glitters is Not Gold



This phenomenon was once more to the fore as media outlets alluded to a possible takeover of one of Slovenia's major companies. So the already strong market growth experienced over the last month was given extra impetus by the none-to-subtle hint that Intereuropa may be a takeover target. A headline in a newspaper article suggested that EUR 60 for Intereuropa shares was a glittering price and, as this was more than 100% higher than the existing market price, it sparked a buying frenzy, which quickly pushed the Slovenian stock exchange index way over the 8,000 point mark. It gained more than 10% in the two weeks leading up to Easter. Obviously, Intereuropa was the biggest winner over that period and they saw their shares shoot from EUR 27 to EUR 40 on heavy turnover. In the last few hours of trading, however, it was possible to pick up the stock at EUR 36, indicating that a lot of speculators in the market were realizing their gains. Luka Koper was a happy beneficiary of the interest in Intereuropa, as they currently hold a 25% stake in the logistics firm and would make a considerable profit should they decide to sell their holding at the current market price. Strong demand pushed their own shares above EUR 80 during the period, but they had relinquished some of that gain by the end of the week and closed at EUR 76. Investors were also showing a keen interest in Aerodrom and Pivovarna Lasko as new funds poured into the market. Istrabenz was also targeted as investors seemed happy with their most recent consolidated operating results. Krka also saw a bit of action after a foreign bank revised their 2007 outlook for the group to between EUR 885 and EUR 960. After trading around EUR 830 euros at the beginning of the period, they closed nearly 10% higher at EUR 890. The large demand was also influenced by the release of Krka's 1st quarter results. The company announced 13% sales growth at the group level, which was slightly down on last year's 1Q result. Of more concern, was the fall in sales in their Eastern European markets. The impact of these results will probably be felt over the next week or two as investors have more time to digest the implications of the latest set of figures. Despite the general buoyancy at the exchange, the market's second largest company failed to make any headway. Telekom was stagnant at EUR 385 euros as investors waited for more news about the company's privatization and to see if there was any truth in the rumour of a share swap with BH Telekom. Given that most of the major advances made by the market over the last fortnight were fuelled by speculation, we are advising caution when entering the market. Speculative cash tends to go out of the market as quickly as it comes in, so if the rumours prove to be unfounded the market could drop suddenly.


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