ECONOMY

Banks, telecoms lead slide; 2,900pt level held

Stocks lost ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) as investors liquidated holdings in telecoms and banks. The ASE general index closed at 2,905.64 points, a decline of 26.12 points or 0.89 percent. Earlier in the session it had dropped as low as 2,893.20 points, or 1.32 percent lower than Friday’s close. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.99 percent to close at 1,619.98 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.07 percent and 0.87 percent respectively. Telecommunications firms led the way down: OTE declined 1.26 percent to close at 14.52 euros, while mobile telecommunications subsidiary CosmOTE dropped 1.92 percent, closing at 14.32 euros. Other declining blue chips included most big banks, such as Piraeus (down 1.30 percent to 13.62 euros), Alpha Bank (1.05 percent to 26.30 euros), EFG Eurobank (0.98 percent to 24.22 euros) and National (0.89 percent to 26.84 euros). Other blue chips that suffered losses were Intracom (down 2.08 percent) and OPAP (1.50 percent to 3.68 euros). The few gainers included Emporiki Bank (up 1.70 percent to 23.94 euros) and Titan (0.74 percent to 24.60 euros). Out of 332 traded stocks, 86 gained, 183 declined and 63 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 182.41 million euros, including 87.5 million in prearranged trades.