National and PPC drag index toward 4,000 pts

Greek stocks fell for a third day yesterday in another volatile session. National Bank, the country’s biggest, and Public Power Corporation (PPC), the biggest power utility, led the drop. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) benchmark lost 3.6 percent, to 4,098.75 points, after rising as much as 2.7 percent early in the session. Forty-seven of its 60 constituent shares fell, 11 rose and two were unchanged. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies slid 4.1 percent to 2,175.32. National Bank slid for a third day, losing 4.6 percent, to -37.80. PPC declined 8.3 percent, to -26.60. Marfin Investment Group, the biggest buyout fund in Southeast Europe, fell 10.7 percent, to -4.34. The fund increased its stake in OTE telecom to just under a cap set by the Greek government. The fund had a 19.66 percent stake in Greece’s biggest phone company as of January 22, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission dated Tuesday. OTE shares fell 1.7 percent, to -20.40. By contrast, gaming software maker Intralot rebounded after heavy losses on Tuesday with a 4 percent gain – the only blue chip to stay afloat. Viohalco tumbled 9.4 percent and Marfin Popular Bank and Hellenic Petroleum slumped 6.4 percent each. The Cypriot General Market Index fell 2.3 percent to 3,621.52. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)