ECONOMY

Investors come back in a positive mood

The first few bourse sessions of 2010 indicated an effort by investors to cover some of the ground lost in the last three months of the previous year. The narrowing of the spread between the Greek benchmark 10-year bond and the German bund helped restore some positive sentiment in the market. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed the week last Friday at 2,327.57 points, recording a 5.98 percent rise from the previous week’s close at 2,196.16 points. Average turnover returned to its normal level after the end of the festive season. The return from the holidays saw investor interest focus once again on blue chips and a few selected mid-caps. Analysts expect the short-term course of the local bourse to become clearer in the first two or three sessions of this week. The outlook can remain positive if the short-term investments of foreign portfolios persist and there is no dramatic shift in the situation on foreign bourses. The course of the Greek economy will also become clearer at the end of this month, when the Finance Ministry forwards the main points of the Stability and Growth Program to the European Commission. Consequently, investors’ eyes are turning in that direction as well. Meanwhile, listed companies have already begun the process of drafting their annual financial reports for 2009, while making their plans for the current year with a considerable reduction in operating expenses.