Fears over bank reforms knock 1.18 pct off index

Stocks lost ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as investors sold stocks, especially in Emporiki Bank. The ASE general index closed at 3,049.80 points, a decline of 36.29 points or 1.18 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.44 percent to close at 1,716.94 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.53 percent and 0.84 percent respectively. Rumors that Emporiki is planning a capital increase at a price lower than the present market one sent its stock diving 6.48 percent to close at 25.12 euros. A widespread fear that reactions against government proposals to integrate bank employees’ auxiliary pension funds might help abort the reform hurt all the big banks. National dropped 2.92 percent to close at 28.20 euros. Alpha declined 2.05 percent to 23.84 euros, while Piraeus and Eurobank fell 1.92 percent and 1.33 percent respectively. Some blue chips ended with modest gains. These included Hellenic Technodomiki (up 1.41 percent to 4.32 euros), Hellenic Petroleum (0.98 percent to 8.28 euros), Titan (0.69 percent to 26.12 euros), OPAP (0.44 percent to 21.26 euros) and OTE (0.38 percent to 15.68 euros). Of the 328 traded stocks, 64 gained, 191 declined and 73 ended unchanged. Turnover dropped to 141.01 million euros, including 10.39 million in prearranged trades.

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