The Zagreb Stock Exchange’s main index, CROBEX, has ended yet another year in the red. To find the root of the problem we decided to see what the individual contribution of each component in a period was, spanning from 2013 up until today.
In one of our previous publication we brought to you an overview of CROBEXprime, the latest equity index on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, and in it we stated several objections to CROBEX (the current major index). Among the objections stated was the one regarding the index’s broad size which led to the inclusion of poor-quality shares. Therefore, today we decided to bring you an overview of just how much each CROBEX component impacted the index’s performance since 2013 up until today. Note that this method is more precise than showing the simple price changes in each individual share as it takes into account the share’s weight and the period it was part of the index.
Market indices are supposed to serve as proxies for investor which would allow them to easily follow the direction in which the observed market is moving. However, in order to function properly the index must be comprised out of shares that attract enough turnover to actually represent the current market movement and not be exposed to frequent price fluctuations. Meanwhile, CROBEX is currently not that type of index as it consists of a large number of shares which many fund managers would not even include in their investment universe (due to extremely low liquidity, poor corporate governance, going in and out of pre-bankruptcy procedures etc).
By merely looking at the CROBEX value in our observed period (Mar 2013- Feb 2019) it seems as that the Croatian market is a dangerous place for any investor with the main market index dropping by 12% to 1,756.88 points. However, when looking at the individual share performance on the chart below one can notice that this is not necessarily the case.
Individual Impact of Shares on CROBEX Movement in the Observed Period (in %)
Source: InterCapital Research
As one can notice, shares such as Valamar, Atlantic Grupa and Podravka all had a positive impact on the index’s performance. Considering that these shares are among the most popular shares for investors, the sharp decrease seems a bit misleading. On the flip side, the shares which dragged the index down were mostly poor performing companies from the industrial sector which are prone to share price fluctuations due to their low liquidity and poor corporate governance which puts off many institutional investors from buying those shares. Furthermore, the index was hit hard by the Agrokor crisis with Ledo accounting for a 7% decrease in value. An exception from this group would clearly be HT and Arena Hospitality who, despite the strong interest from investors, were some of the leading contributors to CROBEX’s negative performance.
To conclude, the Croatian market has certainly been through a rough patch over the past couple of years. However, we believe that the performance of the main market index is slightly exaggerated as its broad size led to the inclusion of shares which unjustifiably dragged it further down. Therefore, we believe that despite the negative performance of index, the Croatian market still offers some gems hidden in the pile.