ECONOMY

ASE down 0.25 pct as CosmOTE stake sale bites

Weak telecom stocks led the Athens bourse back into negative terrain yesterday as concerns that Norway’s Telenor might sell its 18-percent stake in mobile operator CosmOTE on the market hit the share. CosmOTE ended off 1.09 percent at 10.86 euros. Bourse heavyweight OTE, CosmOTE’s parent, lost 1.49 percent to 17.24 euros, keeping the cap on the wider market, which lost 0.25 percent. The benchmark general index lost 1.5 percent over the week, losing the psychological support level of 2,500 points during the week. Yesterday, it ended at 2,488.78 points. «We saw the same pattern through the week – low volume, no interest, some tries at picking up the tempo going nowhere. Selling pressure dried up but what’s left is still leading to a negative sign at the end of the day,» said analyst Spyros Koutras at Nexus Securities. The FTSE/ASE index of blue chips fell 0.32 percent to 1,353.15 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps firmed 0.22 percent and small-caps gained 0.08 percent. Total turnover was 90.3 million euros on volume of 16.6 million shares. (Reuters) Pouliades IT group subsidiary Q&R is in talks for the acquisition of minority stakes in software companies in Belgium and the Czech Republic. The firm recently made a similar acquisition in Poland’s Alatus.