Market slide triggered by pressure on OPAP

Stocks declined yesterday on the Athens Stock Exchange, in a session marked by intense downward pressure on betting company OPAP. The ASE composite share price index closed at 3,855.21 points, a drop of 75.71 points or 1.93 percent. On a weekly basis, it dropped 2.23 percent, limiting the gains accumulated since the beginning of the year to 5.22 percent. The FTSE/ASE 20 index of blue chips declined 2 percent to close at 2,085.83 points, while mid- and small-caps declined 1.41 percent and 1.48 percent, respectively. The FTSE/ASE International index declined 1.89 percent to close at 5,402.60 points. Several blue chips suffered heavy losses, especially OPAP, whose shares lost 7.55 percent to close at 27.20 euros. On Thursday, the company reported a net profit of 105.5 million euros – a 28.8 percent rise, but well below the 133.95 million the market was expecting. «Investors are worried that Stoichima earnings will be more volatile following the in-house management of Stoichima by OPAP,» analyst Dimitris Giannoulis at Alpha Finance said. Out of 315 traded stocks, 61 gained, 209 declined and 45 ended unchanged. Turnover reached 268.08 million euros. (Kathimerini/Reuters)

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