STA, 20 December 2018 - Ljubljana Stock Exchange has had a diverse year as several companies, including household appliances maker Gorenje, were delisted. On the other hand, Slovenia's largest bank NLB went public in November. The overall trend has been somewhat bullish, as the SBI TOP index added 3.52% by the end of November.
The delisting of Gorenje, the blue chip that was acquired by Chinese Hisense earlier this year, as well as those of companies Mlinotest, Sivent, Zdravilišče Rogaška and Tovarna Olja Gea, was decried as bad news for the Slovenian capital market due to limited choice.
"We want more listings with every passing year, not fewer. It is key for the further development of the Slovenian capital market," said Aleš Ipavec, the chairman of the stock market operator LJSE.
"Development should be in the interest of all business and political stakeholders, because a developed capital market addresses many issues, including those in public finances and social affairs. These are indisputable facts in a modern market economy," he added.
Nevertheless, "trading at the Ljubljana Stock Exchange can be assessed as successful, and November IPO of NLB has certainly livened up the atmosphere".
The inclusion of NLB shares in the SBI TOP blue chip on 12 December will certainly "contribute to further growth in trading and to the interest in the stock of Slovenian public companies," Ipavec added.
NLB shares were listed on the stock market on 14 November, with turnover nearly hitting EUR 3m on the first day, but it has slowed down since. The share, which was privatised through the initial public offering (IPO) at EUR 51.50 per share, has traded at between EUR 53.10 and EUR 59.90 between 14 November and 12 December.
Looking at the price range, Urban Belič, a board member at brokerage Ilirika, said that a realistic price of the share "will depend on the bank's performance and the situation on financial markets".
Overall, Belič says that trends on the stock market can be divided into two periods this year. "At first we witnessed optimism of stock market players and gradual growth in share prices and turnover at the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
"Then, after contentious statements by the Left and a deterioration on foreign stock markets we witnessed a decline in share prices and a significant drop in turnover," he said in reference to the Left's wishes to include capital and rent gains in personal income tax calculations.
"Recently, turnover has significantly dropped and has been below figures from previous years. Above all, we see a decline in major domestic and foreign institutional buyers," he added.
Turnover topped EUR 307.4m by the end of November, which compares to EUR 347.4m in the entire 2017. Market capitalisation of listed companies stood at EUR 6.3bn at the end of November, up from EUR 5.27bn at the end of 2017.