ECONOMY

Banks drive Athens exchange 0.25 percent lower

Equities trimmed midsession losses yesterday to end 0.25-percent lower as the market slightly recovered, after weak performances on European markets weighed on local sentiment. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 0.25 percent to 2382.73 after dipping to an intrasession low of 2,353.86 points. Banks lost 0.71 percent. ETBA Bank tumbled 6.98 percent to 4.80 euros after the government said it will accept the recommendation of JP Morgan to sell its majority stake in ETBA to Piraeus Bank. Piraeus’s improved offer was 173.8 billion drachmas ($462.2 million) in cash, or 5.10 euros a share, compared to Agricultural Bank’s 6.43 euros a share offer. Piraeus Bank eased 1.14 percent to 8.66 euros and Agricultural ended flat at 7.96 euros. Blue chips on the FTSE/ASE-20 index eased 0.39 percent to 1,331.29 points. Mid-caps fell 0.74 percent and small-caps ended off 0.81 percent. Alpha Real Estate, a subsidiary of Alpha Bank, eased 0.90 percent to 6.60 euros. Earlier it said nine-month pretax profit rose 35 percent year-on-year to 1.67 billion drachmas ($4.44 million). Turnover was 79.36 million euros on 16.7 million shares traded. (Reuters) All our efforts are geared toward upgrading the entire area, said Andreas Karamanos, rector of the university. In 1993, when the National Bank decided to turn a 5.8 hectare property into green space, the university carried out the study for them.