Bank pension reform holds investors back

Subdued sentiment returned to the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) yesterday after Friday’s encouraging performance, in contrast to the climate on other European bourses. The general index closed 0.40 percent lower at 2,891.29 points. All FTSE indices headed south: blue chips lost 0.25 percent to close at 1,612.76 points, mid-caps ended 0.19 percent lower, and small-caps shed 0.27 percent. The market appeared to be in a waiting mood in view of today’s meeting between banks and employee representatives about a solution of the pension fund issue. Among blue chips, Alpha Bank outperformed with gains of 1.76 percent, CosmOTE ended 0.57 percent higher and National Bank added 0.38 percent. Refineries had a positive day, with Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil finishing 0.77 and 0.64 percent up respectively. In contrast, gaming firm OPAP and Intracom shed 2.65 and 2.54 percent respectively. Eleven of the 18 sectoral indices ended lower. IT equipment-solutions declined the most, 0.87 percent. In contrast, information technology outperformed, with gains of 2.03 percent. Decliners outnumbered winners 146 to 98, while 85 share prices remained unchanged on 329 traded. Turnover fell to 112.38 million euros, of which 55.3 million was accounted for by the four most marketable securities: OPAP, Alpha Bank, OTE and Eurobank.