ECONOMY

Steep decline in sync with European markets

Stocks dropped steeply yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, following other European markets. Despite the decline, volume increased significantly. The ASE general index closed at 3,277.89 points, a drop of 38.11 points or 1.16 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 1.14 percent to close at 1,821.62 points, while mid- and small-caps fell 1.19 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Only one blue-chip company, battery manufacturer and electronics retailer Germanos, gained yesterday, by 0.45 percent, to close at 13.38 points. Among the others, worst hit were electricity company PPC (3.25 percent to 20.24 euros), telecommunications equipment manufacturer Intracom (2.57 percent to 5.30 euros), construction group Hellenic Technodomiki (2.23 percent to 4.38 euros), EFG Eurobank (2.01 percent to 25.34 percent), telecoms company OTE (1.68 percent to 17.54 euros) and Alpha Bank (1.49 percent to 22.42 euros). The most heavily traded stocks, by number of shares, were ATEbank, IT and telecommunications company Lannet and betting company OPAP. Of 331 traded stocks, 80 gained, 200 declined and 51 ended unchanged. Turnover rose to 156.38 million euros, including 5.9 million in prearranged trades.