Stocks take a beating; index ends below 4,100

Stocks declined significantly for the second day in a row yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), as aggressive selling by investors continued. The ASE composite share price index closed at 4,062.87 points, a decline of 66.54 points or 1.61 percent. The FTSE/Athex 20 index of blue chips declined 1.93 percent to close at 2,246.47 points, while mid-caps and small-caps declined 0.78 percent and 2.89 percent respectively. Six blue chips ended with gains, led by ATEbank (up 2.80 percent to 5.88 euros), telecommunications company OTE (1.68 percent to 18.18 euros) and electricity company PPC (0.97 percent to 18.78 euros). By contrast, significant losses were sustained by Piraeus Bank (down 4.26 percent to 23.82 euros), metals group Viohalco (3.64 percent to 8.48 euros), Alpha Bank (3.40 percent to 30.12 euros), EFG Eurobank (3.15 percent to 31.38 euros), National Bank (3.12 percent to 40.36 euros) and betting company OPAP (2.35 percent to 31.54 euros). Of 326 traded shares, 41 gained, 259 declined and 26 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 1.12 billion euros, including 717.93 million in prearranged trades. Among the latter, the most important concerned the transfer of a 51.57 percent stake in hotel and casino operator Hyatt (43,321,960 shares) at 11 euros per share.