ECONOMY

Index barely moves; Panafon outperforms market

Cellular operator Panafon outperformed the Athens bourse yesterday as gains in telecoms helped trim losses on the benchmark general index moving in line with European peers. «Investors are showing a preference for Panafon rather than CosmOTE,» said Costas Theodoropoulos, fund manager at Allianz. Panafon, 53-percent owned by Vodafone, gained 1.25 percent to 6.5 euros and CosmOTE eased 0.34 percent to 11.56 euros. Index heavyweight OTE Telecom edged ahead by 0.65 percent to 18.48 euros. The Athens benchmark general index eased 0.04 percent to 2,595.71 points, ending the week off 22.16 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips slipped 0.21 percent to 1,414.57 points and banks lost 0.50 percent. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps retreated 0.21 percent and small-caps firmed 0.02 percent. National Bank of Greece shed 0.30 percent to 26.66 euros and Alpha Bank fell 0.52 percent to 19.22 euros. Schroder Salomon Smith Barney said it had downgraded National Bank to neutral from outperform following its failed merger with Alpha Bank. The cost of the investment for a franchisee is about 30 million drachmas, while 74 percent of franchisers require an additional entry fee, which on average amounts to 13,000 euros per outlet. It varies between 3,000 and 30,000 euros and the largest are required by the catering chains. Also, 37.8 percent of firms charge franchisees a percentage of the total advertising costs, 27 percent require royalties on sales and 9 percent require a fee on orders.Turnover was 95.55 million euros on volume of 366 million shares.(Reuters)