ECONOMY

Blue chip sell-offs lead to slight index decline

Stocks declined slightly on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, due to sell-offs of blue chips, in a rather quiet session, with volatility at less than 20 points. Once again, the focus shifted to medium-capitalization stocks, partly as a result of EFG Eurobank’s new futures contract. The ASE general index closed at 2,663.52 points, a loss of 6.65 points or 0.25 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.29 percent to close at 1,456.40 points, while mid- and small-caps gained 0.48 percent and 0.37 percent respectively. Gaining blue chips included Folli-Follie (up 2.43 percent to 22.74 euros), Intracom (1.01 percent to 4.02 euros) and CosmOTE (0.58 percent to 13.76 euros). By contrast, OPAP, which was trading ex-dividend, dropped 2.08 percent to 18.86 euros. The dividend was 0.55 euros. In a report, UBS retains its «buy» recommendation for OPAP, while increasing its price target from 18.70 euros to 22. Of 351 traded stocks, 118 gained, 161 declined and 72 ended unchanged. Turnover was 134.66 million euros, including 32.74 million in prearranged trades, notably 600,000 Piraeus Bank shares at 11.88 euros each and 658,200 OPAP shares in three blocks.