ECONOMY

Exchange slips, CosmOTE drops 1.36 percent

Weak blue chips led the Athens bourse lower yesterday with cellular operator CosmOTE falling 1.36 percent, after parent OTE failed to decide whether it will buy another 18-percent stake in the subsidiary from Norway’s Telenor. «Generally, there was selling pressure in the market due to the negative global conditions,» said Petros Militsopoulos, analyst at Leader Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index eased 1.12 percent to 2,595.87 points, after slipping below the 2,600 psychological barrier midsession. Panafon lost 1.80 percent to 6.54 euros, while the telecoms subindex retreated 1.30 percent. OTE ended at 18.30 euros, down 1.08 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 1.31 percent to 1,414.12 points. Public Power Corporation (PPC) gained 0.46 percent to settle at 13.06 euros, a new year high. Banks fell 1.33 percent and index heavyweight National Bank shed 1.11 percent to 26.78 euros. Alpha Bank slipped 1.43 percent to 19.32 euros. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps lost 0.62 percent and small-caps eased 1.02 percent. Turnover was 112.19 million euros on volume of 21 million shares.(Reuters) Construction merger