Equities lost ground on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday after local institutionals preferred to cash in on recent gains that have pushed the benchmark general index over the 2,000-point barrier. The general index lost 0.44 percent to close at 2,006.71 points yesterday. Brokers were saying that the market will have to digest its recent gains – 38 percent since April 1 – before moving on to higher levels if conditions remain favorable. Turnover increased to 222 million euros, from 199.4 million on Monday. Of these, 10.6 million concerned prearranged block transactions. Among sectoral indices, telecoms rose 1.88 percent and publishing and printing, 1.39 percent. Insurance lost 1.92 percent and banks, 1.71 percent. General Bank outperformed, surging 11.52 percent to close at 5.98 percent, after Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis announced that control of the Postal Savings Bank would pass to the Economy and Finance Ministry.