ATHEX: Stock market to close for at least a week

The Capital Market Commission is expected to announce in the early hours of Monday the closure of the Greek stock exchange for at least a week, as financial activity in the country grinds to a halt.

Following Sunday’s decision by the Systemic Stability Council (which includes the head of the Capital Market Commission) in favor of the week-long closure of the country’s banks, the local stock market will be forced to match that shutdown period, meaning that the domestic market had its last session on Friday before the referendum scheduled for July 5.

At the end of a week of major gains due to optimism for an agreement between Greece and its creditors, on Friday the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 797.52 points, a few hours before the announcement of Sunday’s referendum at 1 a.m. on Saturday.

The closure of banks entails the suspension of the operation of the Target 2 system that processes bourse transactions, so it is unlikely the stock market will open its doors before the country’s banks do.

Stockbrokerage companies had expressed concern about the prospect of a bourse opening following the unrest in the economy after the announcement of the referendum, but the shutdown of banks resolved the issue and averted the expected nosedive of stock prices as of Monday.