ECONOMY

Index slips as investors sell to lock in profits

Shares ended lower on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, as some investors booked short-term gains, but gaming operator OPAP outperformed after the government appointed a new chief executive for the company. «OPAP and Hellenic Petroleum lent support to the market today but pressure on Alpha Bank and Emporiki Bank drove the general index down,» said fund manager Vassilis Antoniadis at Marfin Mutual Fund Management. The general share index shed 0.74 percent to close at 2,448.91 points, in line with European bourses. OPAP rose 0.70 percent to 14.32 euros on news a retired civil servant is set to take over the chief executive post, as part of a post-election reshuffle. «At this phase, management changes at state-controlled companies, such as OPAP and OTE, will affect their stocks,» said Antoniadis. OTE lost 0.48 percent to 12.34 euros, trimming some of the gains posted last week after the government put forward a new chief executive for the telecoms operator. «Profit-taking weighed on the stock today after last week’s climb,» said analyst Nikos Kolios at Dynamic Securities. Turnover fell to 95.59 million euros, with 22.15 million shares changing hands. Decliners led advancers 230 to 71. (Reuters)