Gloomy OTE estimates weigh heavily on index

Shares declined significantly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), largely due to an announcement by OTE Telecom’s management that this year’s results would be adversely affected by fixed-line operating revenues. The announcement, along with rumors that OTE may not distribute a dividend for 2004, caused the stock to plunge 3.57 percent, to 10.82 euros. During the session, it had fallen as low as 10.48 euros. More than 4.7 million OTE shares changed hands and the share’s turnover, 50.66 million euros, accounted for 29.6 percent of yesterday’s total. The ASE general index closed at 2,328.24 points, a loss of 32.47 points or 1.38 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips dropped 1.58 percent to close at 1,266.05 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.60 percent and 0.28 percent respectively. Downward pressure on OTE prompted investors to offload other blue chips, especially banks, pocketing recent gains. Thus, Alpha Bank dropped 2.66 percent, EFG Eurobank 1.87 percent, Piraeus Bank 1.68 percent, Emporiki 1.33 percent and National 1.01 percent. Other declining blue chips included Hellenic Petroleum (3.20 percent) and Coca-Cola HBC (2.36 percent). Of the 350 traded chips, 75 gained, 189 declined and 86 remained unchanged. Turnover rose to 171 million euros.