ECONOMY

OTE hits all-time low, drags down bourse

Steep losses in index heavyweight OTE Telecom dragged the Athens bourse yesterday to fresh five-year lows as the telecoms provider fell to its lowest ever level. OTE lost 5.43 percent to end at 9.40 euros, the lowest level since its April 1996 listing, bringing its losses in the last 10 days to nearly 19 percent. The benchmark general index ended down 2.60 percent at 1,570.03 points, the first time it had closed below 1,600 points in five years. «There was across-the-board selling triggered by losses in European markets. Sentiment was already weak after earnings last week failed to cheer investors,» said Elias Lazaris, analyst at Artion Securities. Blue chips fell 2.78 percent to 765.85 points. Mid-caps shed 3.45 percent and small-caps dropped 2.04 percent. Turnover was 100.55 million euros with 31 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 320 to 21 with 22 shares unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)