ECONOMY

ATHEX capital halved

The total loss in capitalization on the Greek bourse over the course of the 11-month international credit crisis has reached almost 100 billion euros. The loss of capital has been unprecedented, causing huge problems for listed companies, with many of them resorting to borrowing by using cash as a guarantee instead of stocks now that their value is going down. Worse, the terms of borrowing are now much more painful for them. Others are trying to propel their stock with cash that deprives them of precious funds for their business plans. Although capitalization also posted a steep decline after the 1999-2000 bubble burst, it was not as intensive or sharp as the drop since last November. On October 31, 2007, the market’s capitalization reached 202 billion euros. Eleven months on, this has shrunk to just 105.85 billion euros. The difference corresponds to capital amassed in about 2,000 days that was wiped off in just 330 days.