Run on OTE takes index 2 percent lower

Shares lost ground yesterday, ending the week with losses of 4.3 percent, pulled down by index heavyweight OTE Telecom, the biggest blue chip decliner. «Telecom stocks came under heavy pressure today, setting off a wave of profit-taking in other sectors,» said an Alpha Finance analyst. The benchmark general share index lost 2.02 percent to 2,210.57 points, underperforming major European markets. Telecom shares lost 4.11 percent, dragged down by heavy selling in OTE, which shed 7.24 percent to 10.50 euros after a rating downgrade, with investors unimpressed by the fixed-line operator’s underlying half-year performance. On Thursday, OTE reported an 8 percent drop in first-half group net profit to 229.3 million euros. OTE’s woes also put pressure on its mobile subsidiary Cosmote, which fell 2.81 percent to 10.38 euros. Turnover rose to 227.32 million euros, with 39.5 million shares changing hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 301 to 45 with 21 stocks unchanged on 367 traded. (Reuters)