Foreign investors stay shy of Athens

Turnover in Athens bourse trading nudged higher last week though not enough to indicate a pickup in investor interest. The strong rebound on Tuesday, when the index climbed 2.38 percent, allowed the market to recoup losses from the previous four sessions. However it was short-lived, despite a positive climate in other European markets due to the ongoing reduction of oil prices. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed 1.30 percent lower on Friday than one week earlier, at 3.334.12 points. Turnover totaled 1.093 billion euros, against 998.7 million the week before. Even heavyweight banks failed to show mettle in line with their European peers which gained more than 20 percent on a weekly basis due to better-than-expected second-quarter results. But analysts said this was also the case with Greek blue chips, and attributed the poor performance to foreign investors continuing to stay away from Athens. Financial services was the top loser among sectoral indices while food and beverages outperformed.