ECONOMY

Profit-taking pulls banks further down

Shares ended on a negative note yesterday, with mobile operator Vodafone-Panafon outperforming on hopes the British parent group is on the point of buying out Greek IT firm Intracom’s 9.43 percent stake in the company. Vodafone-Panafon gained 3.01 percent to 6.16 euros. Intracom has confirmed it was in talks with Vodafone. Its shares were up 2.69 percent to 6.86 euros. The benchmark general index was 0.36 percent weaker at 2,142.67 points, lagging behind European markets which surged, underpinned by technology stocks. Bellwether National Bank (NBG) was the biggest blue chip loser, with shares 3.22 percent off to 18.62 euros and dragging banking stocks down 1.15 percent. Investors have been booking profits in bank stocks in recent sessions after the sector’s strong rally since March. Turnover fell to 185.22 million euros with 38.8 million shares changing hands. There were 174 decliners against 146 advancers, with 45 unchanged against 365 traded. (Reuters)