The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) shared company with the majority of the stock markets in Europe last year as it reported a sustained decline in the percentage of average daily turnover per average market capitalization, the research and development department at the bourse said yesterday. The department’s study covered 12 European countries, the USA and Japan, and stretched over the period 1998 to 2001. It noted that the percentage of average daily turnover per average market capitalization at ASE amounted to 0.18 last year, duplicating that of the London stock exchange. The Greek percentage was also way behind the Portuguese bourse, a market similar in size to ASE, which had a percentage of 0.20. At 0.18 percent, ASE’s turnover last year saw a 50-percent decline from the 0.35 percent achieved in 1998. In the stock market boom of 1999, turnover soared to 0.55 percent, outperforming both the London and German bourses. The figure dropped to 0.25 percent in the following year as the bubble burst at the ASE, leaving thousands of investors holding worthless paper and nursing massive losses. ASE’s research and development department noted that Athens was not alone in seeing the percentage of average daily turnover per average capitalization dwindle with each passing year. In the period under review, all markets, with the exception of the New York stock exchange, Nasdaq, the Tokyo and Finnish stock exchanges, posted sustained falls in their turnover. The department also pointed to the unusually low daily turnover recorded at the majority of the European markets in the years under reviewed.