Stocks slip nearly 2 percent on weak bank earnings

Bank-led losses led the Athens bourse almost 2 percent lower yesterday as the market digested 2001 earnings results on the last day of the reporting season. «The drop is due to the poor results of certain companies, such as Piraeus Bank, Commercial Bank and Folli Follie which were below market consensus,» said George Politis, head of institutional sales at P&K Securities. Commercial Bank, Greece’s third largest bank by assets, tumbled 7.43 percent to 30.88 euros and Piraeus Bank, which reported a 48-percent drop in pretax profit after minorities, lost 8.60 percent to 7.44 euros. Banks lost 3.35 percent. Jewelry-maker Folli Follie ended 11.77 percent off at 19.04 euros after it said that group pretax profits rose 37 percent to 26.5 million euros. The Athens bourse benchmark general index ended off 1.98 percent to 2,332.89 points.The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips retreated 2.43 percent to 1,264.86 points, while the FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps fell away 2.45 percent and small-caps on the FTSE/ASE-80 slipped 1.40 percent. Total turnover was 141.69 million euros on volume of 23.1 million shares. (Reuters)

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