ECONOMY

Greeks up share stakes; turnover falls

Greek investors continued to build positions on the Athens bourse last month as foreign players reduced their exposure to local equities, resulting in a sharp drop in turnover. Data from Hellenic Exchanges, which operates the Athens bourse, showed yesterday that Greek portfolios held 50.2 percent of total shares in November, up from 49.2 percent in the previous month. «Of the 6,465 new accounts opened, 5,376 were created for Greek investors,» the group said in a statement. Foreign investors were net sellers, trimming their positions to 48.7 percent of the market’s total value from 49.5 percent in October. A year earlier, before the broader market lost almost two-thirds of its value, the figure stood at 52 percent. Investment bank UBS said in a note last month that technical reasons have played a significant role in the Athens bourse’s decline as unwinding hedge funds have a significant impact on small illiquid markets like Greece. A closer look at the numbers shows that foreign players held more than 50 percent of blue chips while Greek investors held the majority of small and medium-sized companies. Turnover in November dropped 37.2 percent to 4.14 billion euros in October. In comparison with data from November last year, the drop in turnover reached 71 percent, Hellenic Exchanges added.