ECONOMY

Profit-taking in blue chips drives index down

Bellwether National Bank’s rise to a new historic high of -45.56, with a gain of 0.71 percent, limited blue chip losses and propped up the Greek stock market yesterday as investors hastened to cash in the considerable gains of previous days. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index was 0.21 percent down, closing at 5,093.75 points, the FTSE/ATHEX 20 blue chip index fell 0.27 percent, the FTSE/ATHEX Mid-40 advanced 1.19 percent and the FTSE/ATHEX 80 small-cap index gained 0.75 percent. Among blue chips, Intralot climbed 1.75 percent, Hellenic Petroleum was 1.70 percent higher and Bank of Cyprus advanced 0.92 percent. In contrast, cement company Titan tumbled 6.72 percent after a US court ordered the temporary shutdown of one of its subsidiary’s mining operations. Yesterday’s session was marked by the skyrocketing of turnover to over -1.22 billion, of which -580 million was accounted for by block trades. These included the transfer of 30 percent of Greece’s largest food group Vivartia to Marfin Investment Group (MIG) at a hefty premium on Friday. Vivartia shares were up 30 percent at -23.92. «We would expect to see some joint moves from MIG and Vivartia going forward that would create value for Vivartia in order for the implied valuation to make sense,» Eurocorp Securities said in a note.