Stocks slide; foreign players sell

Greek stocks tumbled more than 5 percent yesterday, falling to their lowest level in some 12 years, as foreign investors trimmed their exposure to Greek shares fearing the impact the current recession will have profit figures. The Athens bourse’s benchmark general index fell 5.45 percent, after Friday’s 5 percent slide, to 1,403.92 points. It is the lowest point seen since March 1998, before the country joined the euro single currency. The blue chip FTSE/ATHEX 20 index dropped 5.85 percent to end at 667.70 points. Data showed yesterday that foreign investors reduced the number of Greek stocks they owned in May, pulling 339 million euros out of the market. Hellenic Exchanges, which operates the Athens bourse, said yesterday that foreign investors held 49.5 percent of stocks at the end of May, down from 50.4 percent in April. In May last year, the figure stood at 48.7 percent. Among the big losers yesterday was Bank of Cyprus, which dropped 10.29 percent to 3.04 euros. Geniki Bank, majority-owned by France’s Societe Generale, slumped 14.29 percent to 0.42 euros. Betting company OPAP fell 6.96 percent to 10.70 euros and Coca-Cola Hellenic ended at 16.80 euros, down 7.34 percent. Turnover reached 141 million euros.