ECONOMY

Losses contained after rollercoaster stock week

The government crisis and the reshuffle on Friday constituted a rollercoaster ride for the Greek stock market last week, which ended with significant gains.

The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed on Friday at 1,254.02 points, shedding 0.13 percent compared to the previous Friday?s close. On Thursday the main index dropped to the lowest point this year: 1,208.09 points.

From the start of the year the index has lost 11.31 percent of its value. However, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index gained 1.15 percent week-on-week.

The appointment of Evangelos Venizelos to the post of finance minister gave bank stocks a boost on Friday. Still, a major factor in the late gains on the bourse last week was the agreement between the French and German governments regarding Greece?s bailout, although the fragile nature of negotiations in the eurozone renders any prediction for this week very risky.

Many listed firms feel the market right now resembles quicksand, which is ruling out any corporate moves as they could prove fatal for their future. Their only resort is the sale of real estate holdings in order to bolster cash flows at such a difficult juncture. Companies such as Heracles, Allatini Ceramics, Rilken, Sidma, Koumbas, Elastron and Edrasis are all looking to increase their cash flow through utilization of property.

Meanwhile, the market is eagerly anticipating consolidation moves in the banking sector, starting with the absorption of T Bank by Hellenic Postbank.