ECONOMY

Acquisitions steal the show

Despite the decline of blue chips over the past week, the Greek stock market continued to enjoy an atmosphere of optimism amid major business deals and a favorable international climate. In the third week of July, for the second time this month, the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index broke the year’s record, which is also the highest since April 2000, before falling slightly to close the week on Friday at 5,058.86 points, 0.89 percent lower than the previous week’s closure at 5,104.23 points. Blue chips may have lost 1.46 percent over the week, but small- and mid-caps continued their ascent, with the Mid-40 index gaining 2.97 percent and the Small-Cap 80 rising 1.98 percent. Following the acquisition last week of 30 percent of Vivartia’s shares by Marfin Investment Group, there was also a preliminary agreement for the buyout of Perseus by Selonda Aquacultures. Today, another major share capital increase was due to be completed by entrepreneur Lavrentis Lavrentiadis’s Alapis with cash (-817 million) contributions. Sources suggested that considerable interest has been expressed in the capital increase. Some -600 million of the increase will be allocated for acquisitions of pharmaceutical companies, while the rest will be used to cover the firm’s bank borrowing, which does not exceed -180 million. A novel method of calculating share fluctuation limits has been applied as of last Monday, following the patterns of major international bourses. The automatic volatility interrupter immediately stops the trading of a stock when its price shows excessive shifts (e.g. more than 10 percent from the starting price).