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Greek bank shares drop sharply on ECB stress test fears

By George Georgiopoulos

Greek bank shares fell sharply on Wednesday, leading the broader Greek equities market lower, with traders citing jitters over the European Central Bank's region-wide stress test and weakness in other European markets.

The Athens bourse's banking index was down 8.2 percent at 134.82 points at 0851 GMT with shares in Alpha Bank shedding 10 percent and National Bank losing 5.7 percent.

"There are worries banks may need additional capital after the ECB's stress test in November and there is also nervousness because of resurging geopolitical tension and weak European bourses,» said Theodore Krintas, head of wealth management at Attica Bank.

Greece's top four banks, which have already been through two rounds of recapitalisation, will be part of the ECB's stress region-wide health check later this year.

"The steep drop is hitting stop losses in relatively thin trading volume but I think the selling pressure is overdone,» said fund manager Costantine Morianos, head of AssetWise asset management.

[Reuters]

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