ECONOMY

NBG drags blue chips 1.30 percent lower

Greek shares headed south yesterday after adding a total of 7.15 percent in the previous three sessions. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index closed 0.79 percent lower at 3,592.36 points, with small-caps outperforming, especially compared to blue chips. The FTSE/ASE 20 index shed 1.30 percent, largely thanks to the pressures on heavyweight National Bank, which fell 3.69 percent. «National Bank shares are down, probably due to cash-strapped pension funds selling their rights to the 3-billion-euro rights issue. This may weigh on the stock in the next couple of days,» Reuters quoted an analyst as saying. The FTSE/ASE Mid-40 was 0.81 percent down, while the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 gained 1.39 percent. A number of other blue chips also came under pressure. OTE telecom was down 2.99 percent, subsidiary Cosmote lost 2.16 percent, Coca-Cola HBC shed 1.89 percent, Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil declined 1.79 percent and 1.36 percent respectively, Eurobank slid 1.68 percent and OPAP was down 1.15 percent. In contrast, ATEbank outperformed, surging 7.91 percent, Emporiki advanced 2.94 percent and Intracom gained 2.88 percent. Sectoral indices were about evenly split between advancers and decliners. Turnover rose to 301.69 million euros.