ECONOMY

Investors likely to cash in recent gains

The Athens bourse may get off to a weak start today with Friday’s dip on Wall Street likely to prompt investors to take profits from recent market gains. The Athens Exchange’s benchmark general index, which ended at 1,779.47 points on Friday, gained almost seven percent last week. Banks performed strongly along with other blue chips, such as OTE telecom. News, however, on Friday that the US economy contracted at the fastest pace in nearly 27 years in the fourth quarter of 2008, sent the Dow Jones industrial average 1.82 percent lower along with major European bourses. Investors in Greek equities will be keeping an eye out for fourth quarter earnings figures as the reporting season kicks off this week. Bank of Cyprus is scheduled to unveil provisional fourth quarter profit figures tomorrow. Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling is the next blue chip expected to unveil fourth quarter figures on February 17.