Stocks drop due to weaker banks

Shares on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) fell 1 percent yesterday, dragged down by weak banks, in line with losses on major European peers. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,177.03 points, shedding 0.43 percent over the last week. Banks retreated 2.60 percent. National Bank eased 0.77 percent to 18.06 euros, while peers Alpha and Piraeus fell 5.68 and 4.74 percent respectively. OTE telecom, whose shareholders on Wednesday approved a 0.75-euro dividend for 2008, added 2.32 percent yesterday to 11.90 euros. Intralot closed unchanged at 4.22 euros. The company announced earlier this week its tenth US lottery contract, after being selected by Vermont Lottery to operate its online and instant games management. Turnover reached 159.7 million euros yesterday, rising from Wednesday’s 133.5 million.