We are a leading, management-owned research boutique with a focus on companies from Europe. Our role is that of an intermediary between companies on the one hand and investors on the other.
Our research products are directly distributed to more than 200 mutual and pension funds, family offices and independent asset managers from Central and Eastern Europe, the German-speaking region, Scandinavia, France and UK. In addition, we publish our reports on platforms such as Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ, Factset, Researchpool.com, rsrchxchange.com, ERI-C.com, Visiblealpha.com, ISBNews and PAP, thus ensuring that they are available to institutions from around the world. By organising roadshows and conferences, we provide investors with direct access to corporate decision makers.
Our team consists of professionals with long capital market experience in both Western Europe and the CEE region.
Adrian Kowollik is Managing Partner at East Value Research and the analyst covering the sectors Technology/Media/Telecom, IT, E-Commerce and Health Care. He graduated in Business Administration from Humboldt University in Berlin and has more than 8 years of experience in equity research and corporate finance. Adrian, who grew up in both Poland and Germany, is a strong believer in the concept of broker-independent equity research and the advantages, which it provides to both companies and investors. Linkedin profile
Mikolaj Wisniewski is Analyst. He has a Master‘s degree in International Relations and Finance. His tasks include the preparation of sector reports, company analyses and valuations. Previously, he worked as Corporate Accountant at CBRE Corporate Outsourcing in Warsaw.
Yusuf Bilgic (Advisor)
Yusuf Bilgic is Advisor to East Value Research. During his impressive career, he was among others Managing Director, Head of Equity Sales & Equity Sales Trading at Lampe Capital in London (previously, part of the German Oetker Group); Director Equity Sales at the oldest German private bank Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt; and Vice President Cash Equity Sales Trading at Banco Santander in Frankfurt. Among his clients were institutional investors incl. long/short hedge funds from continental Europe, UK and the United Arab Emirates. Yusuf is based in London.
Michael Lexa (Advisor)
Michael Lexa is Advisor to East Value Research. He looks back at a successful career as Equity Sales among others at Centrobanca, Julius Baer and Dresdner Bank. Over the last 30 years, Michael, who is based in Milan, has been introducing Italian listed companies to DACH-based institutional investors.
We provide broker-independent research on companies that are headquartered in Europe. Our main focus is on small-, micro- and nanocaps, an area, which is usually below the radar of typical brokerage houses. Scientific studies have shown that broker-independent research can be very helpful for companies when it comes to increasing their market visibility and liquidity.
In addition to analysis of single companies, which can be either sponsored or fully independent, we also offer sector reports, whereby we leverage our sector expertise and knowledge of markets in Western and Eastern Europe. Investors can gain access to all our past and future research reports through 1. the relevant research platforms and 2. by purchasing a yearly subscription on our website.
For the companies, which we cover, we organise international roadshows. Thus, we provide them with access to new investor groups and help to diversify the shareholder structure. Through our broker partners, we can also act as an intermediary in capital market transactions.
Consulting for Start-ups
In addition to services for listed companies, we also offer advisory for European start-ups, especially when it comes to raising capital in CEE and Western markets.
Valuation Services & Corporate Finance
Our offering is complemented by valuation services as well as corporate finance advisory, which we are able to offer our clients through our partnership with the Berlin-based firm InveSP Capital Partners. InveSP Capital Partners provides M&A, restructuring and financing advisory services for smaller companies from Western and Eastern Europe. In the last years, it has completed transactions worth EUR >1bn, many of which were crossborder deals.
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Conflicts of interest East Value Research GmbH has taken several measures to prevent conflicts of interest. One of these is that its employees are prohibited to trade in stocks from its coverage that is being sponsored e.g. by issuers. In addition, its employees are not permitted to accept gifts or any other beneficial contributions from individuals, who have an interest in the content of our research publications.
With currently 777 listed companies (main regulated market + the alternative NewConnect segment), a combined market capitalization of PLN 1.3tr/EUR 285.9bn and a daily turnover of PLN 1.1bn/EUR 249.1m, the Warsaw Stock Exchange is by far the largest and most liquid stock exchange in Emerging Europe.
Given the economic catchup potential of the region, other capital markets are also worth a look, however they are usually characterized by very low trading volumes. In general, the value of listed stocks in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) & South-Eastern Europe (SEE) is much smaller in terms of the market capitalization-to-GDP ratio than of Western markets.
Sources: World Bank, CEIC, GuruFocus, East Value Research GmbH
In Prague, the combined market capitalization of local stocks equals c. EUR 55.7bn and the daily turnover amounts to c. EUR 93m. The largest companies are the utility CEZ, the tobacco producer Philip Morris CR and the banks Moneta Money Bank and Komercni Banka. All these stocks can also be traded via dual listing in Frankfurt. There is also the alternative START segment for small- and medium-sized Czech companies.
In Hungary, the stock exchange has 69 companies, a combined market cap of c. EUR 35bn and a daily turnover of c. EUR 22.6m. The largest companies are from traditional sectors: OTP (the largest Hungarian bank), MOL (Oil & Gas), Gedeon Richter (one of the largest generic producers in CEE), Magyar Telecom (the largest Hungarian Telco). All of them also have a dual listing in Frankfurt. In 2017, the Hungarian stock exchanged launched a dedicated segment for small- and medium-sized companies, which is called Xtend.
With 19.1m inhabitants, Romania is the second most populous country in CEE & SEE after Poland. At 359 (84 in the main market and 275 in the alternative AeRO segment), its stock exchange has the second-highest number of listed companies in the region. Their combined market capitalization equals EUR 44.7bn. While liquidity is a major issue, investors can find very promising stocks, some of which with consistently high dividend yields. The largest of them are: OMV Petrom (an oil & gas company that is owned by Austrian OMV Group), SNGN Romgaz (a state-controlled gas company), SNN Nuclearelectrica (a state-controlled utility), Banca Transilvania (No 1 bank in Romania), and Fondul Proprietatea (an investment holding that invests in listed and privately held Romanian companies and is managed by Franklin Templeton. These companies can also be traded on foreign exchanges e.g. in London.
The Baltic countries
In the Baltic region, the companies are listed on the NASDAQ Baltic exchange, where there are currently 55 companies, thereof 24 from Lithuania, 11 from Latvia and 20 from Estonia. Their combined market capitalization equals EUR 10.4bn and daily turnover EUR 2.3m. The largest companies on the NASDAQ Baltics are Ignitis Group (a Lithuanian utility), Telia Lietuva (Telco), Enefit Green (an operator of renewable energy production units in the Baltics and Poland) and LHV Group (an Estonian bank).
The Balkan region
In the Balkan region, each country has its own stock exchange, but most are very illiquid. For example, in Belgrade the daily turnover of all listed stocks only equals c. EUR 44k. The largest stock exchange in the region is the one in Zagreb (market cap of all traded domestic stocks: EUR 19.6bn), followed by Ljubljana (combined market cap of EUR 8.9bn). In Zagreb and Ljubljana, the average daily turnover equals c. EUR 908k and EUR 1.1m respectively and the largest companies in terms of market capitalization are the oil & gas company INA, the leading bank in Croatia Zagrebacka Banka, the producer of generic drugs Krka and the Croatian Telco Hrvatski Telecom.
According to latest data published last week, the assets of PPKs already reached PLN 14.9bn/EUR 3.2bn. The pension plans, which were only introduced in 2019 and are co-financed by employees, employers and the Polish government, are quickly adding participants, with 3.3m (43.7% participation rate) of employees already in the program. Only in the last two months, the number of new participants has grown by 718k due to an automatic subscription, which is conducted every 4 years of 18-55 year old employees, who previously decided to not participate in the PPKs.
Currently, PPKs, which are managed by private investment management firms, are adding PLN 500m/EUR 98m of assets per month, of which up to 70% – dependent on the age of the employee – can be invested in stocks (in case of <40 years olds, the share can equal max. 70% and for the age group 60+ max. 15%). Thereof, at least 40% of assets must be invested in Polish blue chips (WIG20 index). PPKs are also allowed to invest max. 20% of their assets dedicated to equities in Polish midcaps, max. 10% in smallcaps (incl. from the alternative Newconnect segment) and min. 20% on foreign stocks exchanges.
Latest forecasts foresee an increase of the share of PPK participants to 50% within the next 2 years. Monthly new assets should grow accordingly. This should positively impact the daily trading turnover on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and thus make the Polish capital market more attractive for foreign institutional investors.
In December 2022, the Polish capital market had a record low CAPE (= inflation-adjusted 10y average P/E ratio) of only 7.1x vs. 16.7x for Deutsche Börse and 28.4x for the NYSE. While Poland’s economy has been growing rapidly in the last years with yearly GDP growth rates of 3-6%, the stock market – and the bluechip WIG20 index in particular – have not kept pace. The WSE is the largest stock exchange in the CEE region with 754 listed companies. The No 2 – the stock exchange in Sofia – has 255 companies.
Given the above, the German economy faces two main risks: 1. High energy prices in the long run, especially as Germany is the only country worldwide, which plans to completely withdraw from fossil energy and nuclear power so fast, and 2. A China-Taiwan war. The first scenario would likely result in the movement of production capacity – and loss of high-paying jobs – from Germany to other parts of the world. Especially, North America seems to be an attractive destination as it has access to cheap energy and is a net exporter of it. The second would significantly negatively affect the German economy as a conflict in Taiwan would likely result in sanctions by the US and the EU like those imposed on Russia after its invasion in Ukraine in February 2022.
While we believe that especially the 2nd scenario seems unlikely for now as China needs the Western world as a trading partner – USA and Germany were its No 1 and 7 trade partners respectively in 2022 and the EU as a whole No 2 after ASEAN – and supplier of advanced technology, the above-mentioned factors also bear significant risks for Eastern European countries. For most of them, Germany is the largest trading partner by far (see table below) and a significant share of employees has jobs in German companies or their suppliers. For example, automobile producers such as VW Group (9 in Poland, 4 in the Czech Republic, 2 in Slovakia, 1 in Bosnia, 1 in Hungary), Mercedes-Benz (1 in Poland, 1 in Romania, 1 in Hungary) and BMW (1 in Hungary) have many production facilities in the CEE/SEE region. The same holds for chemical companies – which are particularly energy-intensive – such as BASF (19 production facilities in CEE) and Lanxess (3).