ECONOMY

Appointments may boost ASE

The post-election course of the Athens Stock Exchange probably disappointed those who believe that the stock market moves according to political developments. Perhaps this is what progress is about: Old theories are proven wrong in practice. Current stock market developments are determined mainly by the moves of foreign institutional investors. They, in turn, are focusing their interest on a few high-capitalization stocks. That is why the Athens bourse moves in step with international markets: The same players are active in all of them. The majority of local institutional investors are barely moving. The state-controlled ones, obviously, are waiting for changes in their top management. Private sector institutionals do not have the required liquidity. The main shareholders of medium- and small-capitalization companies have their own problems and a rise in the price of their shares will not solve them. Where, then, do the ASE’s best hopes for growth lie? In the creation of a pro-growth climate: The government will outline its policy priorities on Thursday in a Parliament session. No one expects any spectacular declarations, however. The choice of persons who will lead public companies and regulatory agencies will have a greater impact than policy declarations. It is well known that among these persons are those who will lead companies accounting for about half of market capitalization. Their decisions will affect profitability and the results of many shares. At a time that political declarations are viewed with suspicion, it is trust in individuals that counts. Actually, the same holds true of private sector companies whose management does not change depending on the election results. Even these companies, however, are assessed on the basis of their management.