OTE drags index below 2,000 points

The Athens Stock Exchange general index dipped below 2,000 points yesterday as trading thinned and many investors seemed content to consolidate gains. The prevailing mood is still one of increased activity after a barren two years during which firms kept postponing investment plans. International competition, new mergers and increased interest by foreign groups for Greek enterprises has rewakened the once dormant market. The general index ended 0.49 percent lower, at 1,996.93 points, weighed down by a 2.58 percent drop in heavyweight OTE Telecom, after Moody’s downgraded its debt rating by two notches, from «A2» to «Baa1» yesterday. Turnover declined almost 30 percent from Tuesday’s session, to 156 million euros. Non-metallic minerals and cement declined 1.72 percent and textiles, 1.42 percent. On the other hand, food and beverage stocks climbed 2.09 percent and wholesale went up 1.25 percent.

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