ECONOMY

War fears weigh OTE and bourse down

Equities fell in late trade yesterday as index heavyweight OTE Telecom lost over 3 percent, tracking weak European bourses on concerns a patchy economic recovery may be hurt by a lengthy war in Iraq. The general index shed 0.8 percent to 1,539.4 points. Hellenic Exchanges outperformed, gaining 12.11 percent to 2.87 euros, boosted by news the State will sell its 33 percent stake in the company. Telecom shares fell 1.24 percent, with OTE’s losses counterbalanced to an extent by a near 2 percent advance in mobile operator Vodafone-Panafon. «OTE’s fundamentals at the moment are not convincing foreign investors,» said one analyst. Blue chips lost 1.07 percent while banks fell 0.46 percent. Mid-caps fell 0.47 percent. Small-caps on the bourse’s FTSE/ASE-80 index lost 1.52 percent. Turnover was 59 million shares with 21.2 million shares changing hands. Losers beat winners 232 to 66 with 57 shares unchanged on 355 traded. (Reuters)