Luminaire - Today saw another sharp drop in the Gallente stock market, believed to be a direct result of the revelation that the Caldari State is auctioning off development rights in formerly Gallente systems now occupied by the Caldari. The losses in share price were strongest in those companies most heavily invested in the occupied sectors. While the percentage of corporations with assets and investments at risk is small in comparison to the overall Gallente economy, the mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure construction markets have all seen significant losses due to those industries' disproportionate representation in frontier markets. This latest drop is the largest in a series of recent losses, all of which have occurred since the Caldari State took control of the contested areas in May.
The revelation of the Caldari is also believed to have exacerbated the portrait of the uncertain future posed by the occupation. "Even simple questions no longer have easy answers," said Normand LeVard, a financial analyst for The Scope. "For instance, to whom should corporations operating in the occupied systems be paying their taxes? Even matters as mundane as which authorities have jurisdiction over stargate traffic control has caused headaches, delays and lost profits, a situation which will only get worse as individual Caldari megacorporations move in to establish control."
The spectre of nationalization also looms large in many investors' minds. "Auctioning off development rights is one thing, but what about existing Gallente-owned operations?" asked Hayden Jouletien, a mutual fund manager for a Verge Vendor investment firm. The leaked Caldari memo did not address the matter, and this uncertainty has lengthened the opportunity window for skittish stockholders to divest themselves of assets viewed as "too risky to keep." As more and more investors move their money to "safer" holdings within the mainstream Gallente markets, asset values drop further and "fire sales" become increasingly common.