Trading day at ATHEX to get shorter?

Traders at the Athens stock exchange are asking for shorter sessions due to the fact that turnover has slumped to levels unseen since 1994 while share prices have slid to 1992 levels.

The current seven hours of daily trading seem endless in a faltering market.

At the same time, most small stockbrokerages are facing serious survival problems. The local market cannot sustain 74 stockbroking firms, especially when one considers that the 10 biggest control 70.65 percent of the market.

It is estimated that 40 percent of stockbrokerage employees at those firms have lost their jobs. The sector employed as many as 5,000 people at the peak of the Athens bourse in 1999.

The market will reopen today with its general index at 644.94 points.

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