ECONOMY

Index keeps falling due to weak banks

Shares extended losses yesterday, led by weak banks, with Alpha Bank among the major decliners after it unveiled plans to sell up to 6.48 percent of its share capital the previous day. Alpha shares retreated 4.0 percent to 17.30 euros, having hit a low of 17.18 euros in mid-session as some investors cashed in their holdings hoping to buy stock cheaper through the share placement. Bellwether National Bank was another major decliner, losing 4.40 percent to 17.40 euros, while EFG Eurobank shed 1.85 percent to 13.82 euros. The benchmark general index shed 1.39 percent to 2,062.72 points. «The banking sector had outperformed in the last few months on rumors of upcoming placements at high prices, to the point that it got unreasonable,» said P&K Securities analyst Manos Giakoumis. Turnover rose to 155.88 million euros, with 36.5 million shares changing hands. There were 284 decliners against 47 advancers, with 32 unchanged on 363 traded. (Reuters)