Bank losses drag Greek stocks 1.10 percent lower

Losses in National and Commercial banks after news that the State was reducing its stake in the two led to steep losses in financials and brought Greek equities 1.10 percent lower yesterday. Concerns about stock overhang hit the two banks after Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said the stake reduction would be done in «due time» without giving further details, brokers said. «There was selling pressure in National and Commercial after the Christodoulakis announcement that the State will reduce its participation,» said Dimitris Skapinakis, head analyst at Marfin Hellenic Securities. National Bank, in which the State directly holds about 4.5 percent, fell 2.37 percent to 24.74 euros, while Commercial Bank lost 2.91 percent to 28.04 euros. Banks, index heavyweights, shed 2.02 percent. The Athens benchmark general index retreated 1.10 percent to 2,358.08 points. The FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips slipped 1.44 percent to 1,275.23 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 mid-cap index lost 1.33 percent and small-caps fell 0.82 percent. Turnover was 104.27 million euros on 13.4 million stocks changing hands. (Reuters)

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