ECONOMY

All eyes on reaction to stress tests

The initial enthusiasm surrounding a proposal by Piraeus Bank to acquire ATEbank and Hellenic Postbank has subsided and mixed macroeconomics news from the eurozone and US sent the local bourse into a small decline last week. The Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index starts the new week today at 1,590.50 points, which is 1.39 percent lower than the 1,612.87-point level at which it began a week ago. Contrary to the decline on the main index, the bank sectoral index posted 1.52 percent growth ahead of the results of the stress tests that were announced after Friday’s close. The market is likely, therefore, to show its reaction today to the news of five Greek banks passing the test and ATEbank failing it, as had been widely expected. However, it was the constant rise of Eurobank EFG that had attracted attention last week, with speculation focusing on an acquisition move of its own. Traders are pointing to the results of the valuations of ATEbank and Hellenic Postbank, expected in early September, for the long-term direction of the bourse. Average turnover last week declined to just 100.6 million euros per day from 107.9 million euros in the previous week.