National Bank slide leads equities lower

Steep losses in index heavyweight National Bank led stocks lower yesterday as concerns that the State may be reducing its holding in the bank and weak European markets weighed on sentiment. National, Greece’s largest bank, fell 3.64 percent to 20.62 euros. «The market is shallow and could come under pressure if it attempted to absorb new shares,» said analyst Thanassis Ipirotis at Devletoglou Securities. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index lost 0.97 percent to 2,193.43 points. «Concerns on new share offerings combined with weak sentiment in international bourses to drive Greek stocks lower,» said Alexandre Antzoulidis, analyst at Aspis Securities. The bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 blue chip index lost 1.32 percent to 1,150.72 points. Mid-caps dropped 0.42 percent with small-caps sliding 0.80 percent. Turnover was 114.06 million euros on 20.4 million shares traded. Losers beat winners 234 to 66, while 54 shares were unchanged on 354 traded. (Reuters)