Stocks decline, led by National Bank and OTE

Greek stocks fell yesterday, led by bellwether National Bank in the midst of negative sentiment on foreign markets. The benchmark Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index lost 71.68 points, or 1.4 percent, falling to 5,140.48, as 43 of its 60 component stocks decreased, 10 rose and seven were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX index of the country’s largest firms declined 2 percent to 2,701.49. The bank index was down 2.38 percent. National Bank fell 3.2 percent to -44.84. OTE telecom, the biggest phone company, dropped 2.3 percent, to -24.40. OPAP, Europe’s third-biggest gaming company, declined 1.6 percent, to -27.56. The shares were rated «underweight» in new coverage at JPMorgan with a price forecast of -25. OPAP will «struggle to find significant incremental growth opportunities while defending its sports-betting monopoly,» Adam Cochrane, a London-based analyst at JPMorgan, wrote in a note. Singularlogic SA, a software services company, will join the ASE general benchmark index of 60 companies as of tomorrow. Singularlogic, which has a market value of -142 million, will replace Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications which is being fully acquired by OTE, according to a statement yesterday. The Cypriot General Index lost 2 percent to 4,814.40. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)