Banks lead blue chips; index falls in thin trade

The Greek benchmark Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index lost 1.1 percent, to 4,268.58, its lowest since January 23. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 Index of the country’s biggest companies declined 1.1 percent to 2,249.52. The following were among the most active stocks in Athens trading yesterday. ATEbank lost 4 percent, to -3.40, its steepest drop since January 21. UBS downgraded the state-controlled bank to «sell» from «neutral.» EFG Eurobank, Greece’s second-largest bank, dropped for a second day, losing 1.2 percent, to -18.58. Net income rose to -814 million from -601 million a year earlier, the company said after the close of trading. The amount included a -20 million donation to fire victims. Motor Oil fell to the lowest in more than a week, dropping 2.1 percent, to -12.80. Citigroup Inc reduced its price estimate on Greece’s second-biggest refiner to -17 from -26. Metallurgy group Viohalco tumbled 4 percent and National Bank slid a further 2.3 percent. Marfin Popular Bank outperformed among blue chips with a climb of 3.4 percent and Hellenic Petroleum was the only other blue chip to hold its own, rising 0.6 percent. Turnover totaled -266.8 million. The Cypriot General Index gained 0.5 percent to 3,800.63. (Bloomberg, Kathimerini)