Delistings hit record high in 09

The number of companies that will delist their shares from the Athens bourse due to public offers will be at least eight this year, which marks a record high, according to market data. In 2008, a total of six companies were taken off the bourse with another five delisted in 2007. So far this year, the shares of Grigoris, Rokas and Piraeus Leasing have stopped being publicly traded in Athens while procedures relating to the delisting of Multirama, Imako, Rainbow, Singularlogic and AB Vassilopoulos are moving ahead. The expense of publicly trading the shares of a small or medium-sized subsidiary is often an incentive for a multinational parent to delist the shares as costs can reach between 1 to 3 percent of its annual turnover. Other reasons for delistings include owners taking advantage of low stock prices – as in the current environment – and not having to publish financial information, such as quarterly earnings and share buybacks.