Foreign players increase stakes despite debt crisis

Foreign investors increased their participation in Athens bourse transactions in March despite increased market volatility arising from the debt crisis, according to data made public yesterday. Hellenic Exchanges, the operator of the Athens stock and derivatives markets, said that foreign portfolios held 50.3 percent of total shares at the end of March, up from 49 percent at the end of February. Foreign players held 46.8 percent of stocks in March last year. «International investors as a whole were net buyers by 95.91 million euros. Greek investors were net sellers by 87.93 million euros,» it said in a statement. Despite recent market turmoil, the Athens bourse climbed 8.07 percent to 2,067.49 points at the end of March over the previous month.