ECONOMY

OTE leads market lower; share block transferred

Greek stocks fell for a third session yesterday, nudged lower by OTE telecom, which fell 0.16 percent while accounting for almost a third of total turnover. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark index dropped 0.08 percent, to 5,108.04 points as 38 of its 60 constituent stocks fell, 16 rose and six were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies shed less than 0.03 percent to 2,702.55. The mid- and small-cap indices ended 0.59 percent and 0.24 percent lower respectively. Alpha Bank outperformed among blue chips with a gain of 2.98 percent to -24.88. The country’s third-largest lender expects to post profit of more than -1.5 billion in 2010, financial website Euro2day reported. Separately, Alpha said it plans to buy back shares with a value of as much as 3 percent of its capital. Intralot climbed 2.12 percent and Coca-Cola HBC advanced 1.61 percent. By contrast, Piraeus Bank, Greece’s fourth-biggest bank, fell 1.58 percent and Eurobank, the second largest, shed 0.70 percent. Financial companies declined across Europe on concern credit market losses and slowing economic growth will curb earnings. Turnover totaled -523.5 million, of which OTE represented -173.2 million. Traders said 1.2 percent of its share capital was transferred as collateral by Marfin Investment Group to a lender. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)