OPAP pleases investors, outshines weak market

Shares ended with moderate losses yesterday, taking a cue from weaker European markets, with OPAP emerging as the index shining star after pleasing the market with stronger-than-expected results. «The market looks tired and as if it has run out of the strength we expected ahead of elections,» said Takis Zamanis, analyst at Beta Securities. «Investors remain cautious in the middle of current political developments, while weak European markets and the strengthening euro were two more reasons for the retreat,» he added. The general share index fell 0.76 percent to 2,416.56 points, tracking European markets. Gaming group OPAP was a bright spot in the blue chip index, closing 1.9 percent up at 12.90 euros after its results exceeded expectations, as the launch of a new game and a Cyprus acquisition helped to more than double fourth-quarter net profit. Blue chips closed 0.91 percent down, while small-caps inched down 0.18 percent, with mid-caps marking the biggest retreat with a 1.73 percent fall. Turnover rose to 160.57 million euros, with 31 million shares changing hands. Decliners outnumbered advancers 236 to 72, with 51 unchanged. (Reuters)