ECONOMY

Investment sector seeks consolidation

Moves are afoot toward the consolidation of portfolio investment firms, as a result of the continuing crisis on the Athens Stock Exchange and the considerable discounts at which their own shares are being traded. Tuesday’s offer by Alpha Trust to buy out Alpha Trust Manager Fund at a considerable premium is the most evident example of this consolidation, but less spectacular moves have been made lately. Especially active is Deutsche Bank, which yesterday announced it had raised its stake in Euroline from 4.95 to 5.2 percent; it has also increased its stake in Marfin Classic to over 13 percent. On its part, Marfin Investments, the linchpin of the Marfin group, has been buying stakes in other investment firms, such as New Millenium. Analysts believe that the recent trend of banks absorbing their investment subsidiaries – started by Aspis Bank and Eurobank – will continue.