ECONOMY

Index declines but PPC soars

The credit problems of international markets, as the subprime mortgage crisis culminates in the US, sent more shock waves on the Greek bourse last week, imposing 3.34 percent losses on the ATHEX general index which closed at 4,925.78 points on Friday. Weekly losses would have been much greater had it not been for a rebound on Friday that brought a one-day growth of 2.09 percent to the market’s main index. Foreign portfolios withdrew their capital mainly from the banking sector, as the significant returns by Greek bank stocks since the start of the year are the best possible pretext for liquidation, when foreign investors saw all markets crumbling across the world. The week was dominated by the impressive course of the stock of Public Power Corporation (PPC) on Thursday, which registered a 14 percent daily rise, its highest since entering the Athens market six years ago. On Friday, it recorded an all-time high, helping the utility index buck the trend and become the only one to report a rise this week, and a massive one, too, at 17.51 percent. The biggest losses were for the banks’ index (down 5.59 percent). One year after the creation of the common platform for the bourses of Athens and Nicosia, the Cypriot market reported a 106 percent rise in capitalization, while three Arab markets – Egypt, Dubai and Jordan – have applied to enter the platform as well. On Friday, the stock of Cosmote was taken off the FTSE/ATHEX 20 index, due to its low dispersion, and was substituted by Mytilineos. The latter was replaced by Minoan Lines on the FTSE/ATHEX 40 index.