Slide continues on weak performance by banks

Greek shares headed south for the third straight session yesterday – for the first time in more than two months. Heavyweight banks remained weak. European markets were also in a lackluster mood. The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) general index was down 0.53 percent at 4,705.03 points. The blue chip FTSE/ASE 20 index declined 0.54 percent, the FTSE/ASE Mid-40 ended down 0.93 percent and the FTSE/ASE Small-Cap 80 shed 0.32 percent. Gaming systems firm Intralot led blue chips winners with a gain of 2.02 percent, followed by OTE telecom (up 1.25 percent) and gaming operator OPAP (1.02 percent) Coca-Cola HBC also rebounded from heavy losses over the previous two days, adding 0.81 percent, and Postal Savings Bank was up 0.59 percent. By contrast, Bank of Cyprus led blue chip decliners, shedding 2.47 percent, ATEbank was down 2.34 percent, Titan cement firm lost 1.69 percent and Eurobank declined 1.62 percent. Viohalco, Hellenic Petroleum, Folli-Follie, Motor Oil, Hellenic Technodomiki and banks National, Alpha, Emporiki and Piraeus also ended down. Insurance shed the most among sectoral indices, 3.55 percent. Chemicals was 2.01 percent higher. Turnover fell to -433.95 million, of which 160.4 million was accounted for by National Bank, OTE and Piraeus Bank.