ECONOMY

News on pension fund draft law hurts banks

Stocks dropped yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as news of the government’s legislation dealing with bank employees’ pension funds hit bank stocks. The negative mood spread across the market. The ASE general index closed at 3,044.64 points, a decline of 32.87 points or 1.07 percent. During the session, the index fell as much as 1.26 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.30 percent to close at 1,713.77 points, while mid-caps shed 1.67 percent and small-caps dropped 1.24 percent. Of the big five Greek banks, only EFG Eurobank resisted, falling just 0.08 percent to close at 26.08 euros. The others were harder hit: Piraeus dropped 2.79 percent to close at 14.64 euros and was followed by Emporiki (down 2.52 percent to 26.30 euros), National (2.47 percent to 28.38 euros) and Alpha (2.37 percent to 23.90 euros). Agricultural Bank, which along with Emporiki faces the biggest deficits in its employees’ auxiliary pension fund, dropped 6.79 percent. Of the 333 traded stocks, 57 gained, 197 declined and 79 ended unchanged. Turnover rose sharply, reaching 186.79 million euros, including 19 million in prearranged trades. The latter included, notably, 231,987 PPC shares, in seven packages and 295,000 Motor Oil shares.