National’s move sends bourse lower

The unexpected announcement by National Bank last week for the increase of its share capital by 1.25 billion euros became the catalyst for the first wave of correction on the Greek bourse, after the exchange’s strong rise during the March-May period. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed the week on Friday at 2,233.90 points, recording a 6.98 percent drop on the previous week’s close. Investors rushed to liquidate bank stocks to secure the cash flow they would need to take part in National Bank’s share capital increase. This month, the local market has shown clear signs of fatigue after the significant gains of the previous three months. At the same time, the climate on European markets has also been dour after statements by the head of the International Monetary Fund that the worst is not yet over for the world’s economy. Another negative factor affecting the markets was data released by Lucas Papademos, the Greek vice president of the European Central Bank, on the prospects of European commercial banks.