ECONOMY

New Med index tomorrow

The Athens, Tel Aviv and Nicosia stock exchanges will launch a southeastern Mediterranean stock index tomorrow, offering equity investors a new benchmark for regional exposure, Athens bourse officials said yesterday. The FTSE Mediterranean index (FTSE/MED-100), designed by index compiler FTSE International, will comprise 100 shares – 60 Greek listed companies, 35 from Israel and five from Cyprus. «The new index was designed to reflect the performance of the largest listed companies in these markets and to help attract new investment capital in the region,» Athens Stock Exchange President Panayiotis Alexakis told reporters. The FTSE/MED-100 benchmark will be calculated in real time from 9.45 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. local time. Its base will be 5,000 points. Greece has the highest weighting in the new index, 56.55 percent, followed by Israel with 42.55 and Cyprus with 0.89 percent. Based on May 30 prices, the index has a free-float capitalization above 50 billion euros. Its largest constituent with a 22.7-percent weighting is Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical, followed by Greece’s OTE Telecom. Other Greek index constituents include large-cap banks Alpha, National and Eurobank, telecoms firms Vodafone, Panafon and Cosmote and construction mid-caps Michaniki, Aktor and Hellenic Technodomiki. Cyprus is represented by Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, Louis Cruise Lines, Cyprus Popular Bank and Tsokkos Hotels. Israeli constituents include Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi, Migdal Insurance, Partner Communications, Super Sol, Israel Discount Bank and Agis Industries. (Reuters)