ECONOMY

Stocks fall once more, track European markets

Shares fell for the second day in a row yesterday, triggered by the general weakness across Europe, with telecoms operator OTE leading blue chips lower on concerns it might take on extra debt to expand its mobile stake. «The market will move in step with European bourses in the coming sessions in the absence of any market-moving news,» said analyst Paris Mantzavras at HSBC Pantelakis. The benchmark general share index shed 1.65 percent to 2,092.19 points. OTE shares were down 3.44 percent at 9.54 euros after touching a low of 9.38 euros in mid-session, reflecting market concerns that the group might take on more debt to raise its stake in its mobile arm CosmOTE. «There are press reports indicating the group is going to borrow to buy Telenor’s stake in CosmOTE. The question is how is it going to fund next year’s dividend,» said analyst George Grigoriou at Eurocorp Securities. CosmOTE lost 2.51 percent to 10.08 euros. National Bank was 0.67 percent softer at 17.86 euros, with investors having priced in higher nine-month earnings, which came in after the market close. Turnover fell to 118.43 million euros, with 22.6 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 304 to 30 with 24 unchanged against 358 traded. (Reuters)