ECONOMY

PPC woes help drag index below 3,500 pts

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with investors locking in short-term gains in a session heavily influenced by the dive of Public Power Corporation (PPC). The ASE general index closed at 3,491.56 points, a drop of 13.30 points or 0.38 percent. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips declined 0.43 percent to close at 1,953.42 points. Mid-caps and small-caps, however, gained a bit, 0.05 percent and 0.06 percent respectively. PPC fell victim to a negative valuation by Deutsche Bank, which reduced the target share price from 20.80 euros to 15.10 and recommended that investors sell the stock due to a sharp drop in profits in the third quarter. As a result, PPC tumbled 5.53 percent to close at 17.42 euros. By contrast, bottler Coca-Cola HBC, which announced third-quarter results exceeding market expectations, gained 0.84 percent to close at 23.90 euros. Significant losses were sustained by Duty Free Shops (down 2.31 percent to 14.36 euros), telecommunications equipment-maker Intracom (1.98 percent to 4.94 euros), refiner Hellenic Petroleum (1.86 percent to 11.60 euros) and construction group Hellenic Technodomiki (1.83 percent to 4.28 euros). Of 335 traded stocks, 91 gained, 176 declined and 68 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 241.18 million euros, including 30.1 million in prearranged trades.