Equities drop as OTE loses over 2 percent

Equities ended off 0.26 percent yesterday after an early bounce fizzled as index heavyweight OTE Telecom fell more than 2 percent, tracking weak European peers. OTE, which had gained about 7.5 percent in the last two weeks, dropped 2.59 percent to 11.28 euros. «We saw some profit-taking in OTE and Intracom, while other blue chips stabilized,» said Manos Mavrogenis, analyst at Laiki Attalos Securities. The benchmark general index ended at 1,653.05 points. Blue chips fell 0.46 percent to 820.46 points; mid-caps firmed 0.13 percent and small-caps slipped 0.16 percent. Hellenic Exchanges outperformed, gaining 7.72 percent to close at 2.65 euros. The State is said to be in advanced talks to sell its holding in Hellenic Exchanges to a group of banks and institutional investors. Turnover was 51.46 million euros, with 16.7 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 190 to 96, with 69 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)