Foreign portfolios trim share positions

Positions held by foreign investors on the Athens bourse fell in June, after rising in the previous two months, on sharply higher daily trading volume in the second quarter of the year, according to figures made public yesterday. Hellenic Exchanges, the company that operates the Athens Exchange, said foreign portfolios held 48 percent of the Athens bourse’s market capitalization, down from 48.7 percent at the end of May. In April the figure stood at 47.2 percent. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index lost 5 percent in May, underperforming a 2.6 percent dip in Germany’s DAX and a 3.8 percent retreat on London’s FTSE index. Improved performances on global equities markets helped to boost trading activity in Athens where daily volumes in the April-to-June period shot higher. «The average daily trading volume during the second quarter of 2009 totaled 55.1 million shares, the largest in the history of ATHEX,» the company said in a statement. Meanwhile, officials reiterated yesterday that the Athens bourse and the Istanbul Stock Exchange are planning a new index of Greek and Turkish stocks to serve as a benchmark for the launch of exchange-traded funds. The GT-30 index will comprise 30 liquid Greek and Turkish blue chip shares, offering investors exposure to both markets.