ECONOMY

Banks drag ATHEX lower for a third day

Greeks stocks fell for a third day, led by banks, whose sectoral index fell 3.01 percent. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index lost 2.5 percent, to 4,970.37 points, as all but 12 of its 60 constituent stocks declined. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies slid 2.6 percent to 2,610.07. Piraeus Bank retreated 4.6 percent to -25. Marfin Popular Bank and Eurobank were down more than 4 percent, and Bank of Cyprus lost 3.86 percent. Public Power Corporation lost 3.36 percent, while Alpha Bank dropped 3.10 percent. A total of 188,265 new shares of Greece’s third-biggest bank, resulting from the exercise of stock options to company executives, began trading on the Athens Exchange yesterday. Hellenic Technodomiki and Mytilineos were the only blue chips to hold their own. Clinic operator Hygeia declined 6 percent to -3.78 euros. A total of 61,430,910 new shares in the company, resulting from a capital increase, started trading on the Athens bourse. Turnover totaled -628.76 million, of which OTE accounted for -259.81 million, with more than 11 million of its shares traded, most considered to have been bought by Marfin Investment Group. The Cypriot General Index declined 4 percent to 4,560.51. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)