Banks were behind the Athens Stock Exchange’s rebound on Tuesday, with the index jumping over 7 percent, but volume remaining disappointingly low.
The ATHEX index closed at the intraday high of 628.50, up 2.18%. The same was true of the banking index, which gained significantly during post-session auctions; up 5.8% at the end of the session, it ended up posting a rise of 7.16% after the auctions. Piraeus Bank (+8.29%) led the pack, on the back of second-quarter results which showed bad loan provisions declining to less than a third of the level in the previous quarter.
The banks’ rebound must be seen in the context of declines in seven of the previous eight sessions, which saw the sub-index drop 15.2%. This decline is due to fears that the precipitous drop in economic activity will bring about a new wave of nonperforming loans, as struggling businesses hold on to their dwindling reserves of cash.
It is not only businesses that are trying to hold on to their cash; the majority of investors seem to be doing so as well. It is characteristic that Tuesday’s rebound session did not differ much from Monday’s declining one in turnover – 33.3 million to Monday’s 31 million.