Index drops 0.25 pct despite strong OTE showing

Selective late-session buying in blue chips trimmed earlier losses yesterday, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom outperforming the market after delivering better than expected earnings a day earlier. OTE closed 1.12 percent higher at 18.08 euros, near its year-high of 18.10 euros after reporting EBITDA growth of 20.0 percent in the first half, at the top end of market expectations. OTE’s results were good and in parts better than expected, said analyst Theodoros Degirmencioglou at EFG Eurobank Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 0.25 percent to 2,762.12 points. On the week, it inched forward 0.66 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips gained 0.24 percent to 1,551.31 points, while the FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps shed 0.83 percent. Small-caps dropped 0.52 percent. Banks gained 0.65 percent with Alpha Bank rising a strong 2.45 percent. Turnover was 134.90 million euros on 23 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 283 to 57 with 22 unchanged on 362 traded.(Reuters)