ECONOMY

Stocks dip 1.9 pct as Alpha Bank plunges

Greek stocks fell sharply on Monday on weak banks, led by a dip of more than 9 percent by Alpha.

The Athens bourse?s benchmark general index dipped 1.95 percent to 1,240.25 points.

Banks gave up 3.54 percent. Alpha Bank fell 9.06 percent to 2.94 euros.

Late on Friday, Alpha said it plans to ask its investors next month to approve a share capital increase over the next 12 months, without saying how much it intends to raise.

Meanwhile, data provided by brokers showed that cost-cutting efforts by listed companies helped offset plunging private consumption and record-low business sentiment in the first quarter of the year, sending earnings 15.7 percent higher year-on-year.

Figures showed that 77 companies listed on the Athens bourse, which make up 80 percent of the market?s total capitalization, collectively reported net earnings of 775.8 million euros. The first-quarter reporting season winds up on Tuesday.