ECONOMY

Blue chips lose steam; Intracom outperforms

Stocks slid further yesterday, led by several heavyweight blue chips, while small-caps held their ground. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 19.90 points, or 0.60 percent, to close at 3,277.63. The blue-chip FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 0.51 percent, the mid-cap FTSE/ASE 40 declined 0.32 percent, while the small-cap FTSE/ASE 80 closed unchanged from Thursday. Cell phone operator CosmOTE lost 2.49 percent, OPAP 2.17 percent, Emporiki Bank 2.07 percent, Hellenic Petroleum 1.75 percent and Coca-Cola HBC 1.25 percent. In contrast, the three largest banks advanced: National 0.26 percent, Alpha Bank 0.35 percent and Eurobank 0.30 percent. Telecoms equipment-maker Intracom added a hefty 2.74 percent on rumors of further acquisitions in the alternative telecom services sector. In a letter to the ASE, the company also confirmed plans to increase its recently acquired 20.5 percent stake in alternative provider FORTHnet. Printing & publishing outperformed sectoral indices with gains of 2.19 percent. Turnover declined to 169.86 million euros from 209.12 million on Thursday. Of this, 82.4 million was accounted for by the four most heavily traded stocks, OPAP, Alpha Bank, CosmOTE and Eurobank.