ECONOMY

Blue chips hit; attention shifts to publishing

The week’s first session was rather uneventful: Domestic investors were not in the mood for adventure and simply reshuffled their portfolios. And, as we already know, investor interest is solely focused on blue chips. An exception is the publishing sector, with the imminent sale of Pegasus to business tycoon Theodoros Angelopoulos providing a certain excitement, as it is expected to lead to further changes. The Athens Stock Exchange general index closed at 2,865.15 points, a decline of 0.15 percent. Of 354 stocks traded, 175 gained, 121 declined and 58 ended unchanged. Turnover dropped to 151 million euros. Most blue chips declined: Piraeus and Agricultural Banks, as well as EFG Eurobank, declined more than 2 percent, while Alpha Bank, OTE, CosmOTE and Hellenic Technodomiki fell over 1 percent. The exceptions were Emporiki (0.72 percent), Titan (0.59 percent), Duty Free Shops (0.47 percent), Motor Oil (0.40 percent), Viohalco (0.31 percent), Coca-Cola HBC (0.11 percent) and Germanos (0.09 percent). The strong euro is expected to hit exporters this year as well. In defense, the latter are consolidating their subsidiaries in markets where the euro is the dominant currency. By contrast, high oil prices will positively affect refineries.