ECONOMY

Stocks dip; OTE provides safe haven

Late-session selling sent the Athens bourse 1.87 percent lower yesterday on steep bank losses as turnover dropped. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended at 1,716.80 points, just off an intrasession low of 1,714 points. Banks slumped 2.92 percent, led by a 3.45 percent drop in Alpha Bank to 5.04 euros. National Bank slipped 2.50 percent to 11.31 euros and peer Piraeus moved 2.31 percent lower to 5.08 euros. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index shed 2.31 percent to 839.55 points. OTE telecom lost 1.65 percent to 7.76 euros, a day after reporting a larger-than-expected 75 percent drop in first-quarter profit figures and warned of an even tougher year ahead. Proton Securities said yesterday that OTE has solid cash flow, making it «a highly defensive stock, which is very much appreciated during the current turbulent times.» Utility company Public Power Corporation dropped 2.11 percent to 12.98 euros and Titan Cement ended at 17.66 euros, down 4.13 percent for the day. Mid-caps on the FTSE/ATHEX 40 bucked the trend, adding 0.10 percent, while small-caps (FTSE/ATHEX 80) eased 0.87 percent lower. Turnover dropped to 85.81 million euros from 150 million previously.