Index sheds early gains; investors await OTE sale

Stocks declined slightly yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as the market failed to hold on to early gains. Analysts said that some investors liquidated their positions so as to be ready for the upcoming placement of OTE shares with foreign institutionals. The ASE general index closed at 3,297.21 points, a drop of 2.22 points or 0.07 percent, after rising as high as 3,325.06 points during the session. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.03 percent to close at 1,841.02 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.20 percent and 0.03 percent respectively. The blue chips that posted gains included metals group Viohalco (up 1.79 percent to 5.70 euros), mobile telecommunications company CosmOTE (1.27 percent to 15.90 euros), jewelry retailer Folli-Follie (1.16 percent to 26.20 euros) and betting company OPAP (0.82 percent to 26.90 euros). OTE declined 0.46 percent, closing at 17.18 euros. Of 330 traded stocks, 115 gained, 141 declined and 74 ended unchanged. Turnover dropped to 153.33 million euros, including 1.24 million in prearranged trades. The most heavily traded stock, in terms of value, was Alpha Bank (21.92 million euros), followed by OTE (17.73 million) and National Bank (15.21 million).