Failed talks on Pegasus sale weigh on market

Stocks took a beating on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday, following the suspension of talks for the acquisition of publishing firm Pegasus by business tycoon Theodoros Angelopoulos. Trade in Pegasus was suspended, but the other companies where the Bobolas family are major shareholders were hit hard: Teletypos, the company that owns TV station Mega, plunged 16.60 percent, while construction companies Aktor and Hellenic Technodomiki dropped 6.51 percent and 4.32 percent respectively. The ASE general index closed at 2,832.73 points, a drop of 32.42 points or 1.13 percent, having fluctuated between 2,826.56 and 2,873.83 points during the session. The FTSE/ASE-20 index shed 0.79 percent to close at 1,584.53 points, while mid-caps and small-caps lost 1.52 percent and 1.43 percent respectively. Some blue chips bucked the trend, including Piraeus Bank, which gained 4.35 percent to close at a year-high 13.42 euros on the back of a favorable report by UBS which raised the target price to 19 euros from 14.20. Titan also recorded a year-high of 24.68 euros, after gaining 3.01 percent. Of 354 traded stocks, 90 gained, 203 declined and 61 ended unchanged.Turnover rose to 214.27 million euros, including 13.35 million in prearranged trades.