ECONOMY

Investors appear cautious in local stock exchange

The rebound in the Greek bourse at the end of last week took the main index above the 1,600-point level, but turnover remained relatively low for the whole of the week, which signifies that investors are still waiting for more clear signs regarding the country?s economy before they make their move.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed last Thursday at 1,622.13 points, up by 1.78 percent from the previous Friday?s closing of 1,593.78 points. The bourse was closed on Friday, March 25, due to the national holiday. On most days turnover did not exceed 100 million euros.

The new week will see a number of listed companies, such as state-owned Public Power Corporation (PPC) and ATEbank, issuing their annual results for 2010, which may well affect the course of the market in the coming days.

Bourse observers say that it might make a difference to investors? frame of mind if there is even a slender majority among the 261 listed companies to show profits for 2010.

It is no secret that many top entrepreneurs in the country have expressed fears that 2011 will see a culmination of the recession that will dry the market out. The sectors that seem to have taken a particularly bad hit in the first quarter of the year are food, minerals, coastal shipping and retailing.