Corona Virus Infects Macedonian Stock Market, and Boosts Underdeveloped Balkan E-commerce

Avatar for Stevan Vlaski

For several days, most of the stocks listed on the Macedonian Stock Exchange are losing value. The covid-19 virus epidemic that has hit the global stock markets has also harmed this domestic stock market, most notably in the MBI10 index, which contains the ten most liquid securities of listed companies. This index sank by 9.38%, which is the biggest daily decline in the past 10 years, since the financial crisis.

Oil companies, travel agencies, manufacturers are also exposed to the corona outbreak, their stocks are also in the downfall losing over 10% of their stock value. Most affected by the covid-19 virus crisis were the shares of Makpetrol AD ​​Skopje (MPT) and Pekabesko AD Kadino Ilinden (PKB), which experienced an enormous decline of 10.00%. Shares of Alkaloid AD Skopje (ALK) also declined sharply, with shares decreasing by 9.98%.

The decline began last week when fears of the COvid-19 virus spreading to the country began, and the first positive case was confirmed. Ivan Steriev, the director of the Macedonian Stock Exchange, which is the organizer of the trading, says that the negative price trend is a result of the impact of current international developments related to the virus.

The stock market in the country proved to be extremely sensitive although other markets reacted as well. Steriev himself had hoped this year to be positive about both prices and interest due to economic stabilization and NATO accession, and becoming closer to the EU. But so far this is not feasible.

What about e-commerce?

As of the 12th of March, the country’s lock down, the e-commerce sector is blooming. Orders are flying online as people do not want to go to physical stores anymore. Unlike in Western countries, the North-Macedonian infrastructure for online shopping is not that developed yet, and there are difficulties with delivering products to buyers due to too many orders. It remains to be seen how companies will overcome this challenge, but surely this will help the e-commerce sector to develop further, and companies can spot and fix the bottlenecks better because of this national emergency.

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