ECONOMY

Bourse extends losses, telecoms slide

Equities fell 1.55 percent yesterday, tracking European peers lower, with index heavyweight OTE Telecom sliding after releasing first-quarter results that were in line with market expectations. Brokers said the drop in OTE had more to do with the sector’s poor performance in Europe rather than its first-quarter figures. OTE ended off 1.5 percent at 17.04 euros. Telecom stocks lost 2.07 percent with cellular operators CosmOTE and Panafon shedding 2.12 and 3.66 percent respectively. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell for a second session to 2,263.24 points. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index retreated 1.63 percent to 1,200.52 points while banks dropped 1.82 percent. EFG Eurobank ended 0.42 percent lower at 14.10 euros as investors shrugged off news that Schroder Salomon Smith Barney initiated coverage with a price target of 14.5 euros for the shares. Turnover was 104.80 million euros on volume of 20.1 million shares. Losers beat winners 291 to 37 while 32 shares were unchanged on 360 traded. (Reuters) Ferry operator Minoan Lines yesterday reported a net loss in the first quarter of 4.8 million euros versus a loss of 5.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 37.5 percent year-on-year to 28.5 million euros. Profit before tax, interest and depreciation and amortization improved to 2.2 million euros, versus a loss of 0.6 million euros in the first quarter of 2001. Minoan’s shares on the Athens bourse fell 2.5 percent to 1.95 euros. (Reuters)