Vodafone’s offer lifts volume but index slides

Shares ended slightly lower yesterday, with blue chips hit by profit-taking after recent rallies and volume boosted by investors taking up Vodafone’s public offer for the remainder of the shares of Panafon it does not own. The benchmark general share index fell 0.15 percent to 2,194.42 points. «It was mostly a consolidating session, with the index trying once more to break the 2,200-point barrier but not making it because of US data this afternoon,» a trader said. A US government report showed claims for new unemployment benefits logged an unexpected rise during the Thanksgiving week. «If foreign markets give a helping hand, the liquidity that came out from all the blue chips cashing-in should go to boosting mid-caps,» one trader said. Turnover was boosted by almost 18 million Panafon shares changing hands as investors took up a public tender offer by Britain’s Vodafone to buy up the remaining 25.2 percent of Panafon it does not own. Index heavyweight OTE retreated 2.06 percent to 10.46 euros on what traders said was expected profit-taking after Wednesday’s more than 3 percent rally. Turnover fell slightly to 224.81 million euros, with 43.3 million shares changing hands. Advancers outnumbered decliners 184 to 118, with 59 ending unchanged. (Reuters)