ECONOMY

Unchanged ECB rates drive ASE down 1.1 pct

The European Central Bank’s decision to keep rates unchanged yesterday drove Greek equities lower, with the Athens bourse’s benchmark index losing 1.10 percent to 2,365.10 points. The ECB’s decision overshadowed news that the two bidders interested in buying Greece’s ETBA Bank had sweetened their offers for the state-owned bank. Analysts had said earlier that progress on ETBA’s sale would be a positive sign that the government was committed to pushing ahead with structural reforms and privatizations after a Cabinet reshuffle. Banks closed 0.59 percent lower with Alpha Bank slipping 0.72 percent to 19.38 euros after it reported group net profit, after minorities for the nine months to end-September, slipped 1.4 percent to 71.2 billion drachmas ($185.8 million). Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index shed 0.88 percent to 1,318.16 points. Mid-caps lost 1.18 percent, while small-caps slid 1.05 percent. Mobile operator Panafon fell 2.59 percent as investors locked in gains after a 3-percent advance a day earlier. Telecom stocks ended off 0.73 percent. Turnover was 87.61 million euros on 18.1 million shares traded. (Reuters) Often in cooperation with the State, environmental organizations just as often find themselves pitted against it, pointed out the society’s general secretary, Makis Apergis, so working together is vital to their success. It is because of that cooperation that these three organizations are the recipients of the Society’s Vyron Antipas prize for 2001, presented at this week’s ceremony.