ECONOMY

Emporiki shines but market gets pummeled

Greek stock prices went into free fall yesterday, directly influenced by strong pressures on other European and emerging markets, and receded to an eight-month low. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index shed 134.46 points, or 3.81 percent, closing at 3,394.78 points. Characteristically, only 10 of the 309 stocks traded ended with gains, including Emporiki Bank, the only blue chip to stay afloat, with a gain of 5.80 percent after Credit Agricole’s surprise offer for 100 percent of its share capital. The strong interest in Emporiki was explained by estimates that there may be an offer higher than Credit Agricole’s 23.50 euros per share. The blue chip FTSE/ASE index slid 2.90 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 fell 4.32 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 lost 6.82 percent. Among blue chips, the heaviest losers were Intracom (down 8.77 percent), Titan (6.84 percent), Viohalco (6.03 percent), ATEbank (5.91 percent), Motor Oil (5.47 percent), Folli Follie (5.19 percent) and Hellenic Petroleum (4.99 percent). All sectoral indices headed south, the hardest hit being technology (down 9.29 percent) and raw materials (7.69 percent). Turnover rose to 457.71 million euros.