ECONOMY

Index slides on National Bank’s decline

The Greek bourse bucked the trend set by other European markets and posted slight losses yesterday on corporate results for the year’s first quarter and on pressure on bank stocks. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index closed at 1,578.42 points, falling by 0.46 percent from Wednesday’s close at 1,585.75 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dropped by 1.21 percent to end at 761.57 points. National Bank of Greece (NBG) declined by 4.25 percent yesterday as UBS announced it has cut the Greek lender’s price target to 12.60 euros from 13.80, while maintaining its neutral rating. The drop in NBG stock was the force behind the main index’s decline. There were also losses for Alpha Bank (down 3.23 percent), OPAP (3.13 percent) and Piraeus Bank (3.10 percent). Motor Oil led rising blue chips with 8.11 percent growth, followed by Intralot (up 6.90 percent), Hellenic Postbank (4.48 percent), the Public Power Corporation (4.45 percent) and OTE telecom (3.36 percent). In total there were 96 stocks that gained, 71 that lost and 55 that remained unchanged. Intracom posted the greatest gains with a 15.25 percent rise, while Hellas On Line was the worst off, contracting by 14.08 percent. Turnover shrank to 127.6 million euros, from Wednesday’s 302.9 million.