ECONOMY

Banks, telecoms drag index below 3,900 pts

The benchmark Athens Exchange (ATHEX) index fell 152.87 points, or 3.8 percent, to 3,892.35, the steepest decline since January 21. The FTSE/ATHEX 20 index of the country’s biggest companies lost 4.1 percent to 2,005.90 points. The banks index shed 4.1 percent. Bellwether National Bank slumped 6.4 percent. The following stocks were the most active in trading. Jewelry and accessories retailer Folli-Follie added 1.1 percent to 19 euros, gaining for the first time in 11 trading days. Profits rose to -72.7 million last year from -65.2 million in 2006. OTE telecom lost 88 cents, or 4.5 percent, to -18.52, the biggest drop since December. Marfin Investment Group said on Wednesday it had been approached about selling its 20 percent stake in Greece’s biggest phone company. The buyout fund said it still considers the stake «strategic.» Marfin shares slid for a second day, dropping 22 cents, or 5.2 percent, to -3.98. Gaming monopoly OPAP lost 4.6 percent to -19.30, the lowest since May 2005. Analysts at Citigroup Inc reduced their price estimate for the shares of Europe’s third-biggest gaming company to -29.50 from -35.80. Metals group Mytilineos dropped 5.9 percent, Piraeus Bank dived 5.4 percent and gaming software firm Intralot shed 4.9 percent. Turnover topped -347.4 million. (Bloomberg)