Stocks drop 1.2 pct; OPAP outperforms

Greek stocks fell yesterday on across-the-board losses but betting group OPAP shined, jumping more than 4 percent. Turnover eased to 63.5 million euros from 133 million in the previous session, affected by public holidays in Britain and the US. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index ended 1.24 percent lower at 1,550.78 points, marginally off an intra-session low of 1,547 points. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index eased 1.52 percent to end at 744.88 points. Banks fell 2.47 percent. Eurobank was among the worst performers, sliding 4.34 percent to 3.97 euros. Bank of Cyprus dropped 5.24 percent to 3.62 euros and Alpha Bank retreated 2.15 percent to 4.55 euros. Among the few gainers was betting group OPAP which jumped 4.35 percent to 12.95 euros after last week reporting a better-than-expected 11 percent drop in first-quarter net earnings. Proton Research said yesterday it cut its target price on OPAP to 16.20 euros, from 19.40 euros previously, and kept its outperform rating on the stock. Expectations that video lottery terminals will be introduced in Greece and that the 5-billion-euro illegal betting industry in the country will be regulated are among the positive factors supporting the outperform rating, added Proton.