ECONOMY

Run on telecoms sends index 0.70 pct lower

Shares declined yesterday, despite the announcement of good half-year financial results by blue chips Coca-Cola HBC, CosmOTE and Piraeus Bank. Analysts were especially puzzled by the sharp decline in CosmOTE’s stock (2.42 percent), despite the fact that its results were better than forecast. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed at 2,281.13 points, a drop of 16.08 points or 0.70 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips dropped 0.72 percent to close at 1,206.68 points. Mid- and small-caps dropped 0.25 percent and 0.18 percent respectively. Pressure on telecom stocks weighed heavily on the result, while bank results were mixed. Alpha Bank closed up 0.11 percent at 19.04 euros despite a sale on the part of a foreign institutional investor. The sale was offset by the bank’s own share buyback scheme. Piraeus and Emporiki also rose, 0.92 percent and 0.71 percent respectively. On the contrary, National Bank lost 1.03 percent. OTE Telecom dropped 1.98 percent, to 9.92 euros. Of the 345 stocks traded yesterday, 115 gained, 138 declined and 92 ended unchanged. Turnover improved somewhat, to 74.20 million euros, including 6.22 million in prearranged share block transactions.