ECONOMY

Market steady as EFG Eurobank attracts funds

Stocks declined slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE). Despite that, the market appeared stable and did not follow other European bourses lower. The ASE general index closed at 2,357.99 points, a drop of 4.19 points or 0.18 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips shed just 0.04 percent to close at 0.04 points, but the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 dropped 0.63 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 declined 0.50 percent. Turnover exceeded 100 million euros for the third session in a row (104.22 million), but over half of that was concentrated in five stocks: EFG Eurobank Ergasias (25.26 million), OTE Telecom (18.66 million), National Bank (9.19 million) and Alpha Bank (7.52 million). Eurobank also accounted for the bulk of prearranged trades, worth a total of 24.23 million euros, as it attracted considerable interest from foreign investors. This heavy concentration of turnover is further proof of the fact that the ASE is a two-tiered market, with certain blue chips attracting almost all investor interest and the other stocks, especially small-caps, languishing. It has been a long time since most listed firms could count on a steady flow of investor funds. Out of the 352 traded stocks, 78 gained, 189 declined and 85 ended unchanged.