It was a quiet start to the year on the PFTS exchange, which is Ukraine’s most active trading platform amid the ongoing restricted activity of the larger UX exchange. The PFTS index was a top emerging market performer worldwide in 2018, skyrocketing by 80%, although the index’s basket of largely illiquid stocks is prone to distortion. Another top-performing stock index was the MBI 10 of the Macedonian Stock Exchange (MSE), which rose by some 30% in 2018. The worst global equity performer in USD terms in 2018 was Venezuela, which saw its IBVC index collapse more than 94 percent, and the second worst was in Argentina, which closed more than 50 percent lower after Buenos Aires found itself in yet another financial crisis.
As we reported earlier, the performance of the broad 20-stock PFTS index last year was significantly distorted by the low liquidity of Ukrainian stocks. We prefer to measure the market performance with the 5-stock UX index, which added some 25% in 2018. The UX index kicked off 2019 with a small 0.3% gain to 1710 points. Top financial issue Raiffeisen Bank Aval (BAVL) picked up 0.9% to 34.30 kopecks. The bank is expected to report a solid net profit of 7.80 kopecks per share for FY18 and to pay out nearly all of this profit with a hefty dividend of 7.50 kopecks.
London-listed Ukrainian names had a mixed start to the year. Ferrexpo (FXPO) and MHP (MHPC) declined by 3.3% and 3.8% respectively, with the latter ending the week at USD 10.10. Meanwhile, natgas producers Regal Petroleum (RPT) and JKX Oil&Gas (JKX) surged by 11% and 14% respectively, with the former finishing at GBp 59.00 per share. In Warsaw trading, Kernel (KER) slipped 0.7% to PLN 49.40 per share.
On the interbank currency market, the hryvnia opened the year notably lower against the dollar amid the official start of the presidential campaign, giving up 1.2% to finish at 27.80 UAH/USD.
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