ECONOMY

Blue chips worst hit

The Athens Stock Exchange general index lost 1.19 percent or 26.45 points to close at 2,198.55 last Friday. Friday’s session halted an eight-session losing streak. Total trade fell to 474.7 million euros, an average of 94.9 million per session. Blue chips were the most affected last week. Therefore, the FTSE/ASE-20 index of large-capitalization stocks fell 2.59 percent, to 1,143.28 points. The FTSE/ASE-80 of small-caps fell 1.12 percent and the mid-cap FTSE/ASE-40, 0.75 percent. Most sectoral indexes sustained losses as well. Leading the losers were telecommunications (3.63 percent) and basic metals (2.89 percent). There were three exceptions which managed to gain points, these being TV & entertainment (12.63 percent), investment (1.44 percent) and holding companies (0.07 percent). Among the 368 stocks traded, 230 ended with losses, 115 gained and 23 remained unchanged. State soccer pools and lottery firm OPAP led the gainers, rising 16.58 percent. At the opposite end, supermarket chain Vassilopoulos lost 18.38 percent. The most heavily traded stock this week was OTE, with an average value of 28.03 million euros per session. OPAP followed far behind, at 6.29 million. Pundits have long claimed that the small size of the Greek stock market and of most listed firms, insufficient liquidity and lack of corporate transparency demonstrated by the non-adoption of International Accounting Standards have all contributed to foreign investors’ ignorance of likely opportunities in the local stock market.