On 14 May, Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga, the founders of Latvia’s TOP101 of Most Valuable Companies, will hold a TOP101 Debates in collaboration with the IR Nauda magazine, to look at the economies of Latvia and Estonia through the lens of the countries’ most highly valued companies, identifying their differences and their impact on economic development and on society overall.
Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga, which have regularly prepared lists of Latvia’s Most Valuable Companies, joined forces with Nasdaq Tallinn to launch an analogous list for Estonia of the 101 companies in that country with the highest value in 2019. The list was published in Tallinn in April this year with the aim of sparking public discussion of those companies’ role in Estonia’s society and economy.
While in 2018 Latvia’s GDP was over 3 billion euros higher than Estonia’s (at 29.1 billion euros versus 26 billion), the total value of the TOP101 companies in Estonia, at 20.7 billion euros, exceeded that of those in Latvia, 16.9 billion euros. Estonia’s most valuable companies had an EBITDA margin of 26%, significantly higher than the 16% rate in Latvia, resulting in higher value estimates for the Estonian companies.
“On a global scale, the economies of the Baltic States are very similar: we are similar in terms of area, population and economic structure. There are also considerable differences, however, as becomes apparent when you look at the TOP101 lists for Latvia and Estonia,” Kārlis Krastiņš, the Managing Partner at Prudentia Riga, pointed out. “The TOP101 lists reveal areas that both the countries should work on and improve to enhance the competitiveness of their companies and to make the Baltic region overall a more attractive place for investments,” he said.
“The top five companies on Estonia’s list are publicly traded, while Latvia has two state-owned companies among its top five. This is clear evidence of the fact that the capital market plays a much bigger role in the Estonian economy. The lists also show that, compared to their Latvian counterparts, companies in Estonia are more transparent and disclose more information about their business to the public, with the result that Estonia’s TOP101 has more value,” noted Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne, the CEO of Nasdaq Riga.
The lists for Estonia and Latvia also differ in terms of the geographical origin of the capital of the companies included in them. For Latvia’s TOP101, foreign-owned companies account for 53.6% of the total value; for Estonia’s, such companies account for only 38% of the list’s total value. The number of TOP101 companies with foreign shareholders is significantly higher in Latvia (64) that in Estonia (46). The total value of such companies in Latvia’s case is 9.1 billion euros, compared to 7.9 billion for Estonia.
The TOP101 Debate will address the trends and key factors affecting the value of companies in Latvia and Estonia, and the still untapped potential for obtaining capital through stock exchanges, among other things. The discussion’s participants will include:
Viljar Arakas, CEO of Efften Capital;
Tõnu Palm, Chief Economist at Luminor Estonia;
Jaan Luts, Co-Owner and Member of the Supervisory Board at TMB Element;
Aigars Ruņģis, Co-Owner of Valmiermuiža Brewery;
Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne, CEO of Nasdaq Riga;
Sulev Raik, Partner at Prudentia Tallinn;
Kārlis Krastiņš, Managing Partner at Prudentia Riga.
The host of the debate will be Pauls Raudseps, one of Latvia’s leading journalists and commentators.
The format will be a Zoom Live Event conference.
The event will take place on 14 May, from 14:00 to 15:30. The working language is English.