Stocks tumble on weak banks

Greek stocks gave up 5 percent yesterday as heavy losses in banks dragged the benchmark index below the 2,200-point mark. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 2,199.53 points, after dipping to an intrasession low of 2,184 points. Banks slumped 7 percent on concerns that the Greek government’s rising borrowing costs will push up funding expenses for local lenders, biting into their profit margins. National Bank fell 6.26 percent to 18.58 euros and Alpha Bank tumbled 8.05 percent to 8 euros. Eurobank and Piraeus Bank also fell by 8.38 percent and 7.81 percent respectively. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index lost 5.70 percent, ending at 1,125.95 points. Turnover reached 270.5 million euros versus 174 million in the previous session.