ATHEX risks turning into a ghost market


The ghost of a marginalized Greek stock market, as it was before the country’s access to the eurozone, is now haunting Athinon Avenue, threatening to turn into a bunch of idle stocks, trapped shareholders and loss-making investors.

It has already been three weeks – 15 full working days – without trading and all signs are pointing to a further delay before the bourse reopens, until the banks have had a chance to return to smooth operation.

Dozens of meetings took place last week involving officials from the Finance Ministry, representatives from the Capital Market Commission, Hellenic Exchanges SA and the association of traders in a bid to find a solution for the stock market to reopen before the banks. However, the ministry did not accept the alternative proposals submitted and the bourse has stayed closed since June 26.

The first significant consequence of the long stock market holiday concerns the decision for the settlement of derivatives that expired on Friday, July 17, using the prices from June 26.

Now the reopening of the bourse will allow foreign investors to sell their holdings and take their capital abroad, while the Greek bourse is likely to suffer another downgrade by FTSE and MSCI.