ECONOMY

Run on National Bank spreads across the board

Investors yesterday appeared unconvinced by the 33 percent discount at which the National Bank said it will offer shares for its 3.0 million capital increase in relation to yesterday’s closing price, and sold the stock aggressively, leading the Greek market sharply lower. The Athens Stock Exchange general index shed 2.03 percent, closing at 3,676.85 points. Disfavor in the heavyweight bank triggered sales across the board. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index lost 2.18 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid 40 ended 2.52 percent lower and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 was 2.63 percent down. Commerce was the only one of the 17 sectoral indices to stay afloat, with a gain of 0.27 percent. Banks were the chief loser, sliding 3.13 percent, followed by financial services (closed-end investment funds), which lost 3.02 percent. Among blue chips, where National crashed 5.77 percent lower, Piraeus Bank was down 4.40 percent, Motor Oil lost 4.21 percent and Alpha Bank 2.87 percent. In contrast, Duty Free Shops gained 2.12 percent, Hellenic Petroleum 1.35 percent and Germanos 1.09 percent. Turnover surged to 974 million euros, of which 650 million concerned the transfer of Postal Savings Bank shares to the new shareholders after the recent part-privatization.