OPAP slides as index sheds nearly 1 percent

Shares hit a 25-day closing low, with gaming operator OPAP ending weaker on news the gaming market may be deregulated earlier than expected. «The market seems to be range-trading in the absence of supportive news flow,» said analyst Constantinos Sinanidis at Egnatia Securities. The general share index closed 0.96 percent lower to 2,337.65 points, trimming earlier gains. Traders said buying interest could return to the 2,280-2,300 level. OPAP shed 2.51 percent to 14.78 euros, a two-month closing low, after the finance minister told Imerisia daily the state must «move fast» to deal with a potential loss of OPAP’s monopoly as a result of the e-gaming boom. «The particular statement of the finance minister, if true, implies an earlier than expected deregulation of the market and strengthens our worries for OPAP’s increased risk,» Marfin Analysis wrote in a research note. Power utility Public Power Corporation (PPC) ended a five-day losing streak, advancing 0.74 percent to 19.14 euros. Blue chips fell 1.05 percent, mid-caps retreated 1.44 percent while small-caps lost 1.19 percent. Turnover fell to 84.70 million euros, with 15.75 million shares changing hands. Losers outnumbered winners 227 to 76. (Reuters)