ECONOMY

Shares dive 1.15 pct on across-the-board selling

Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) closed lower yesterday as a number of institutional investors sold part of their blue chip holdings and there was very little buying interest. The selling pressure extended across the board and all sectoral indices ended lower. The ASE general index closed at 2,308.47 points, a loss of 26.85 points or 1.15 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips dropped 1.27 percent to close at 1,232.88 points. Mid- and small-caps dropped 0.96 percent and 0.83 percent respectively. Only bottler Coca-Cola HBC managed to end in positive territory among blue chips, gaining 0.31 percent to close at 19.60 euros. PPC remained steady at 19.70 euros. All other blue chips declined, notably Hellenic Technodomiki (3.57 percent), National Bank (2.63 percent), Hellenic Petroleum (2.61 percent), Intracom (2.56 percent), Emporiki Bank (2.02 percent), OPAP (1.77 percent) and OTE (1.67 percent). Of the 342 traded stocks, 62 gained, 200 decline and 80 ended unchanged. Turnover jumped to 134.73 million euros, including 57.45 million in prearranged transactions, consisting mainly of the transfer of a 38.7 percent stake in electronics retailer Kotsovolos to UK-based retailer Dixons.