ECONOMY

Banks, Coca-Cola HBC lead index lower again

Greek stocks, led by banks, declined in thin trade yesterday, sending the benchmark Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index to its sixth straight weekly drop. The measure fell 1.1 percent to 4,316.33 points, bringing this week’s loss to 2.7 percent. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s largest companies retreated 1.3 percent to 2,273.63. National Bank, the country’s largest, tumbled 3.8 percent, Intralot shed 2.2 percent, and Eurobank dropped 2 percent, the first decline this week. Alpha Bank was 1.8 percent lower and ATEbank lost 1.7 percent. Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co declined 1.1 percent to -28.30, falling for a second day. The company may issue a «guarded» outlook for this year when it reports earnings on February 14, Swetha Ramachandran, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group, wrote in a report dated yesterday. The «neutral» recommendation on the shares was maintained. By contrast, Hellenic Exchanges gained 2.8 percent, ending three days of losses, and Viohalco was up 2.65 percent. FHL Manufacturing – Trading Co rose 1.8 percent, the biggest advance in almost two weeks. The marble quarry signed an initial agreement to sell its marble stucco business to Cie de Saint-Gobain SA, Europe’s biggest supplier of building materials. Turnover totaled -283.5 million. (Kathimerini, Bloomberg)