ECONOMY

Olympic sell-off failure spooks the Athens bourse

A blue-chip-led slide dragged Greek equities 1.12 percent lower yesterday as the benchmark general index fell to a new year-low on news of Greece’s failure to sell state-owned Olympic Airways. Brokers said growing concerns over delays holding back the government’s privatization program and targeted structural reforms had hurt sentiment and would not rule out further downside. «News of another privatization not going ahead hit the market in a bad way,» said Costas Zareifopoulos, analyst at Pentedekas Securities. The benchmark general index ended at 2,461.01 points. The FTSE/ASE index of blue chips fell 1.33 percent to 1,355.13 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps shed 1.27 percent and small-caps retreated 1.2 percent. Telecom stocks shed 0.72 percent and banks lost 1.42 percent. Total turnover was 94.85 million euros on volume of 14.9 million shares. Bourse newcomer Dias Aquaculture – the day’s most heavily traded stock – soared 146.5 percent to 12.82 euros from its IPO price of 5.20 euros. Losers beat winners 290 to 47 with 24 unchanged on 361 traded.(Reuters)