ECONOMY

Alpha Bank drags the broader bourse down

Stocks lost ground yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) despite a positive climate in foreign markets, as Alpha Bank’s first-quarter results came in below expectations. Moreover, investors are troubled by the fact that most listed firms have not yet published first-quarter results under the newly obligatory International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) despite the official deadline today. The government has granted a 15-day grace period. The ASE general index closed at 3,037.27 points, a decline of 22.11 points or 0.72 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.31 percent to close at 1,703.69 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 0.69 percent and 0.26 percent respectively. Alpha Bank was heavily hit, dropping 6.45 percent to close at 22.34 euros under very heavy trading, almost 92.5 million euros’ worth. Also hit were two banks, National (down 2.51 percent) and Emporiki (1.05 percent). In a report, Deutsche Bank said worries over banks’ auxiliary pension funds were exaggerated and set price targets of 32 euros for National, 31 for Alpha and 27 for EFG Eurobank. Of the 332 traded stocks, 103 gained, 154 declined and 75 ended unchanged. Turnover jumped to 295.24 million euros, including 76.5 million in prearranged trades.