ASE down 2 pct; OTE hit by European telecom woes

Equities shed more than 2 percent yesterday as OTE Telecom tumbled under the weight of European telco woes and uncertainty concerning the outcome of its general assembly today. Brokers said speculation over changes taking place at OTE top management levels during its general meeting weighed on the stock and investors became nervous over who might replace current CEO Nikos Manassis. «The speculation is that the government will not propose Manassis for board chairman. If he remains as CEO, the market will take it less negatively. But if he leaves altogether, the pressure on OTE will continue,» said analyst Costas Karitsos at Intersec. Telecoms lost 2.93 percent and OTE fell 2.82 percent to 17.24 euros. OTE subsidiary CosmOTE also took heavy losses, sliding 4.11 percent to 10.26 euros. The Athens benchmark general index slipped 2.02 percent to 2,386.99 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 1.72 percent to 1,291.61 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps fell 2.29 percent and small-caps on the FTSE/ASE-80 lost 2.43 percent. Total turnover was 107.78 million euros on volume of 19.2 million shares. (Reuters) Telecom equipment maker Intracom yesterday announced the signing of a deal for the acquisition of a 26.2-percent stake in Sweden’s mobile telephony equipment firm KEV AB, which develops small third-generation (3G) base stations.

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