OTE, Cosmote shine but banks pull index lower

Greek stocks fell for a fourth day, the longest losing streak in more than four months. Banks paced the decline. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index lost 0.45 percent, to stand at 5,124.97 points as 41 stocks dropped, 14 gained and five ended unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies slipped 0.8 percent to 2,717.60. The Cypriot General Index declined 3.4 percent to 5,069.45. Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-biggest lender, shed 4.72 percent to reach -26.60. EFG Eurobank, Greece’s second-largest bank, dropped 2.6 percent to -24.26. The Hellenic Telecommunications Organization added 4 percent, closing at -26. Greece’s biggest phone company offered -2.8 billion in cash for the shares it doesn’t already own in mobile operator Cosmote to gain full control of its most profitable unit. Cosmote rallied 4.96 percent to -26.24. Hellenic Exchanges climbed 0.4 percent to -23.60. The operator of the Athens Exchange said it will bid for a stake in the Slovenian bourse. By contrast, Bank of Cyprus slumped 4.72 percent, while Marfin Popular and Postal Savings lost more than 3 percent. Turnover totaled -1.47 billion, of which -1.03 billion was accounted for by Cosmote and OTE. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)