Bank and telecom stocks lead index lower

Shares edged down on thin buying interest on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, with several blue chips, notably banks and telecoms, losing ground. The general index slid 0.58 percent to 2,108.62 points. National Bank lost 0.99 percent to 17.98 euros, Alpha Bank fell 0.32 percent, Eurobank 0.55 percent, Emporiki 1.34 percent, OTE Telecom 1.61 percent, Vodafone-Panafon 1.01 percent and CosmOTE 0.58 percent. Piraeus Bank closed up 0.24 percent at 8.48 euros, 6 percent above the placement price of 6.7 percent of its share capital with Greek and foreign institutional investors, concluded yesterday. The bank said it will use the approximately 90 million euros raised to boost its reserves and improve its capital base. All sectoral indices ended with losses, except IT equipment-solutions, which advanced 2.44 percent, and non-metallic minerals, which gained 0.81 percent. The blue chip FTSE/ASE-20 index fell 0.67 percent, while mid- and small-caps registered lesser losses. Decliners outnumbered advancers 211 to 109, with 44 stocks staying unchanged on 364 traded. Turnover fell to 108.4 million euros. The most marketable securities were National Bank, with 10.3 million euros, and Public Power Corporation, which gained 1.24 percent, with 7.3 million euros.