ECONOMY

Banks drag index down, despite lively small-caps

Share prices closed lower, led by banks. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index ended down 0.47 percent at 2,311.53 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index closed 0.77 percent down, the mid-cap index lost 0.33 percent while small-caps gained 1.38 percent. The resurrection of investor interest in small-caps made for some lively trading, especially in textiles, where the five stocks on offer by the various companies of the troubled Klonatex group gained between 17.59 percent and 18 percent, the upper limit. Banks edged down 1.06 percent, with NBG dropping 1.97 percent to 17.94 euros, Alpha Bank ending 1.45 percent lower at 20.42 euros and Eurobank went up 0.45 percent to 17.70 euros. Next week, National and Alpha will publish their half-year results. Telecoms group OTE finished 0.78 percent lower at 10.22 euros, while its subsidiary CosmOTE rose 1.06 percent to 13.34 euros. Lottery operator OPAP closed up 0.78 percent at 15.46 euros, while energy monopoly PPC gained 0.63 percent to 19.22 euros. Telecom equipment manufacturer Intracom declined 2.29 percent to 3.42 euros, a 2004 low. Of the 352 stocks traded, 180 gained, 112 declined and 60 ended unchanged. Turnover was 70.32 million euros.