ECONOMY

Bourse falls on Alpha-National share swap details

Details concerning the merger between Greece’s two largest commercial banks halted the Athens bourse’s climb yesterday, sending index heavyweight National Bank down more than 5 percent. The country’s two largest banks, National and Alpha, proposed a share swap ratio of nine Alpha Bank shares for every seven new shares of National Bank. Analysts said National tumbled as it adjusted to the share swap news but sentiment was not affected by the details. The market was looking for a different ratio; what was announced did not please National shareholders, said Philip Zoumboulakis, fund manager at Citi funds. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell 0.72 percent to 2,776.76 points after climbing for five straight sessions. The share swap ratio made the big difference which affected the broader market. Small- and mid-caps stocks, however, showed resilience as the general sentiment was not really affected, said Costas Zareifopoulos, analyst at Pentedekas Securities. Banks lost 1.54 percent. National Bank tumbled 5.34 to 28.36 euros with Alpha Bank rising 0.75 percent to 21.58 euros. Turnover was 276.07 million euros. (Reuters) Kyriopoulos points out that the price of public system healthcare is very low, which has side effects on health professionals: When prices fall, so does supply, availability, productiveness, and motivation among doctors, nurses and other health professionals. I’ve never seen better proof of this in the 25 years that I have been working than in the Greek health system. How much does an IKA doctor earn? Around 300,000 drachmas. What does that mean in real market terms? Two hours’ work. How much are National Health Service physicians paid? Around 600,000 drachmas, which, in real terms, is two and a half hours’ work. That is how much most of them work. I wonder why we don’t realize it.