Stocks slip 0.23 pct, OTE dips to year low

Index heavyweight OTE Telecom fell to a new year low yesterday as the Athens bourse slipped 0.23 percent, continuing to feel the pinch from government plans to reduce its holdings in state-run companies. OTE Telecom lost 1.82 percent to 16.18 euros, bringing its losses in the last four sessions to more than 8 percent. The government moved last week to reduce its stake in the company placing 40.32 million shares with institutional investors. OTE shareholders will meet today to approve the company’s 0.7043-euro dividend per share for fiscal year 2001. The Athens benchmark general index eased 0.23 percent to 2,214.94 points. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index slipped 0.20 percent to 1,166.17 points. Mid-caps retreated 0.22 percent and small-caps lost 0.73 percent. Turnover was 78.66 million euros on 14.6 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 200 to 99, while 60 shares were unchanged on 359 traded. (Reuters)